Adolescence is a stage of life full of changes and growth, both physically and emotionally. Below, we’ll discuss some of the most important aspects of this stage and how you can face them in the best possible way.
Physical changes: During adolescence, you’ll experience changes in your body due to puberty. These changes may include hair growth in different areas, development of sexual organs, changes in your voice, and height increase. These changes are completely normal and are part of the process of becoming adults.
If you feel uncomfortable or worried about physical changes, talk to your parents, teachers, or doctors for information and support. For example, if you’re concerned about hair growth, you might seek advice on personal grooming and hygiene.
Emotional changes: Adolescence can also be an emotionally intense stage. It’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions, from joy to sadness, and sometimes all in the same day. Learning to identify and express your emotions in a healthy way is key to managing these emotional changes.
To handle intense emotions, you can try techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or journaling. If you’re angry, try counting to ten before responding, and if you’re sad, look for activities that make you feel better, such as listening to music or going for a walk.
Identity development: Adolescence is a period when you’ll begin to explore who you are and what you like. Don’t be afraid to discover your own interests, abilities, and passions. Remember that being authentic and appreciating your own diversity is important.
As you explore your identity, engage in activities you enjoy and that allow you to discover your abilities. For example, if you like art, sign up for painting or drawing classes. This will help you develop your interests and appreciate your own individuality.
Social relationships: Friendships and social relationships become more important during adolescence. Although making friends and maintaining relationships can be more challenging for some autistic people, it’s essential to keep trying and practice social skills like communication, empathy, and conflict resolution.
To improve social skills, practice in everyday situations, such as greeting someone in the store or asking a question in class. You can also join clubs or activities that interest you, like a chess club or a theater group, where you can meet other young people with similar interests.
Responsibilities and boundaries: As you grow, you’ll also need to take on more responsibilities and learn to respect boundaries in different aspects of your lives. This may include schoolwork, extracurricular activities, responsibilities at home, and respecting the rules set by your parents, teachers, and other adults.
Learn to prioritize your tasks and break them down into manageable steps. For example, if you have a large school assignment, divide it into smaller parts and complete one part each day. Also, practice respecting the rules and boundaries set by your parents and teachers, understanding that these guidelines are there for your well-being.
Life skills: Developing life skills is essential during adolescence. Learn to take care of yourself, manage your time, and make decisions. These skills will be useful in adult life and will help you feel more confident and capable.
To develop life skills, take on responsibilities at home, like washing dishes or making your bed every day. You can also learn to create to-do lists or use a planner to organize your time and ensure you complete all your activities.
Support: Don’t hesitate to ask for help or support when you need it. Your parents, teachers, therapists, and friends can be valuable resources during this stage. You can also join support groups for autistic youth, where you can share your experiences and learn from others facing similar challenges.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. For example, if you’re struggling with math at school, ask for help from your teacher or a classmate. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, talk to your parents, a school counselor, or a trusted friend.
Adolescence is a stage of changes, but it’s also an opportunity to grow and learn about yourself and the world around you. Approach these changes with patience and confidence, and remember that you can always rely on the support of your loved ones and professionals around you.