Teaching Kids with Asperger Syndrome (ASD) How to Identify Emotions
Asperger Syndrome is a previously used diagnosis on the autism spectrum. A diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, now under the umbrella of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is commonly associated with a difficulty with social interactions, especially non-verbal communication, restricted interests and uncoordinated movements or clumsiness.1,2,3,4
One characteristic of Asperger syndrome (ASD) is that children experience a hard time identifying and talking about specific feelings or emotions they're having. Use the tips below to teach your child to identify emotions, so that they can begin to better recognize their own feelings and the feelings of people around them.
Teach them About Facial Expressions
Facial expressions are a very common way that people show their emotions. Teach your child to recognize and identify which facial expressions are associated with each emotion. You can use flash cards or photographs to practice learning facial expressions while you're not in a social situation, so there is far less pressure on the child.
Explain Body Language
Body language is another way that people show you how they feel. Explain that to your child with a social communication disorder, then demonstrate different types of body language to show them what different physical signals mean. You can do things like draw cartoon people to demonstrate body language, or you can act out the body language yourself. Once your child learns what certain body language means in terms of emotions, have them practice acting out the body language or drawing it on paper.
Watch Age-Appropriate Movies and Television Shows
Movies and TV shows are great for kids with Asperger's syndrome (ASD) because they show social situations with emotions acted out. When you're watching movies and shows, pause when there is a scene in which a character is displaying a specific emotion. Ask your child to identify that emotion, and tell you how they know which emotion they're seeing on the screen.