Monday, March 22, 2010

Imitating Facial Expressions

lately I've become re-concerned with this area. One of the hardest parts for me personally to deal with emotionally has been that toby does not react with distress when I am angry or scared or exhibit other negative emotions. Often, he laughs. As in, he laughs when I cry.

I've been thinking more about that lately, and I know that part of the empathy has to do with difficulty recognizing and imitating facial expressions.

When Simon was a year old we played a game where all I did was blink exagerratedly at him and he excitedly did it back. I tried it with Toby and all I got was a blank share, then he would drift off and look the other way altogether.

Until about 3 months ago that is. At over 2 and a half, he finally caught on to the blinking game. It was hard but I just kept working on it, up close to his face, and he got it. And now he loves it.

Could I do the same thing with other emotions? Can I teach him empathy?

1 comment:

  1. I think there are methods for teaching empathy. There are games marketed where the child learns to interpret facial expressions. There are social skills classes and social stories. Kids with ASD can be taught things that NT kids do not need to be taught. One game I play with my son is saying the same sentence like "It's time to go home now." in 3 different tones of voice - sad, mad, and happy and see if he can identify. You can also do it with pictures of faces and ask things like "How does this boy feel?" "Why do you think he feels that way?", etc.