Neurodivergent teens often exposed to ‘repeated humiliation experiences’ according to a psychologist, and the 6 ways they can thrive instead of survive

If your teen is neurodivergent, they might not always find school easy – but here's what they can try

teenage girl being gossiped about at school
(Image credit: Alamy)

Repeated humiliation is a part of life for many neurodivergent people, a psychologist says, and this includes teenagers at school. 

The teenage years are a minefield, and that goes for both the teens themselves and their parents. Giving our teens the opportunity to be independent is a good idea, as is trying some of these expert-approved conversation starters with them, but it’s still a tricky time for teen and parent alike.

And, one psychologist has explained that neurodivergent teens can find things more difficult than most, experiencing what he describes as “repeated humiliation experiences” – particularly at school.

David Krauss, PhD, writes in Psychology Today that neurodivergent teens will go to school every day feeling anxious and tolerating the humiliation – “teasing, exclusion, being blamed and misunderstood” – so they can make it through and move on to their next stage in life. 

And, after managing to keep it together at school, they may lash out or withdraw when they get home, and resist getting up and getting ready the next morning to do it all over again. 

If this sounds like your teen, however, Dr. Krauss goes on to outline six ways that they can thrive, rather than simply survive. Here’s what they – and you – can do.

• Think about all the ways in which they’re loved, valued, cared about, and respected by people in their lives, like parents, relatives, and friends.

• Remember that these “humiliations” they experience are a reflection on the instigator, rather than themselves. 

• See themselves as “different, not less,” and realise that their worth doesn’t depend on the approval of other people.

• Remember that everybody experiences humiliation at one time or another, and they aren’t alone.

• As parents, we can remind them of all the positive things our teens do, and the obstacles they’ve been able to overcome.

• We can also use examples of other neurodivergent people, and how they’ve been able to thrive, to give our teens hope. 

In other news about teens, here are four tips to help teens cope with exam results disappointment, and here’s the one question to ask your teen to improve your relationship. Meanwhile, an expert has revealed why your teenager’s ‘annoying’ habits are actually a sign of good parenting.

Freelance writer

Adam is an experienced writer who regularly covers the royal family and celebrity news for the likes of Goodto, The List, The Metro, and Entertainment Daily. However, you can also find Adam covering relationships, mental health, pet care, and contributing to titles such as Creative Bloq.