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Autism Resources and Community (ARC)

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      Teaching Kids with Autism about Emotions

      Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. By Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. | 4/17/14 8:56 AM | About Autism | 3 Comments

      Parents and educators often struggle to help children with autism communicate their feelings. When children with autism have trouble recognizing and communicating how they feel, it may contribute to inappropriate behaviors such as tantruming and aggression, or even increased social withdrawal. If our kids could tell us how they feel, they would be less frustrated, and we would be better able to help solve their dissatisfaction.

      Unfortunately teaching children with autism to understand and identify their feelings is a complex task…. After all, many so-called "normal" adults struggle to communicate their feelings!

      Stages Learning Materials offers an 80-Card set of Emotion Cards which help children with autism identify and discuss different feelings and emotions. Half of the images are against a plain background, showing only the upper body and face, and clearly depicting a single emotion, so the children can begin to understand and recognize basic facial expression. The remaining cards show people in real situations and activities with natural settings and contexts, inviting discussion about a range of emotions, why the people may feel that way, and possible responses to these feelings.emotion-cards-with-descriptions

      Once you can help your child recognize and identify basic emotions, you can work toward helping them identify when they are experiencing those feelings. If your child is pre-verbal, you may consider having the photos accessible, so that if you need to, you can ask them to point to a card that identifies the way they feel.

      Download 8 FREE Language Builder Emotion Cards today to start teaching kids with autism about emotions!

      Download Your Language Builder Emotion Cards



      Angela Nelson, J.D., Ed.M. Angela Nelson is the creator of the widely-recognized Language Builder Picture Card Series, and the creator and lead author for the Language Builder ARIS curriculum. Angela received her BA and JD from UCLA where she studied and practiced behavior psychology under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, and her Ed.M. at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, with a focus on technology innovation and education. As Founder and CEO of Stages Learning Materials, Angela has created autism, special needs and early childhood curriculum products since 1997. In addition to her duties at Stages, Angela writes for multiple industry publications and is Chair of the Education Market Association.

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