Most of us learn emotions from interacting with others and observing how people express their feelings with their faces, bodies, and words. For the Asperger’s Disorder child, the language of feelings is foreign to them and they do not easily learn what comes smoothly to others. Asperger’s Disorder children need to be taught emotions in a very direct way, much like you would teach them any new skill.
Direct instruction can be boring, tedious, tiresome, and an unnatural way for Asperger’s Disorder children to gain experience with emotions. Instead, many fun activities can be used with your child to help him learn emotions. The idea is to slip in teaching opportunities in the form of play without your child necessarily knowing that the purpose is to teach. Art projects and various games are ways to have fun with your child while teaching him valuable lessons. There are board games and storybooks specifically designed to teach feelings. Playing house, dolls, or school can provide plenty of opportunity to focus on feelings.
You do not want to say, “Now we are going to learn about feelings.” Instead suggest a game of charades, making a collage, finger painting, or other activities suggested in this chapter.