Children and teens with Asperger’s Disorder have limited interest in emotions, both their own and those of others. They do not try to understand how others feel, nor do they change their words or behavior in reaction to others. Their emotional blindness renders them incapable of recognizing a peer’s irritation, boredom, or impatience.
Even when emotions are openly expressed by others, children with Asperger’s Disorder do not respond with empathy. They lack both an intellectual and emotional understanding of how others feel and often respond in inappropriate and insensitive ways. Their failure to notice emotions and modify their words and actions is not rude or callous; they simply do not see or feel emotions they way others do.
Some of the difficulties Asperger’s Disorder children and teens have with emotions include:
• Being aware that others have feelings
• Recognizing when someone has a feeling
• Reading others’ facial expressions
• Correctly identifying a person’s feeling
• Giving an appropriate response to the feelings
• Recognizing when they are having a feeling
• Correctly labeling their own feeling
• Using facial expressions to convey their feeling
• Expressing their feeling with appropriate intensity