Understanding emotions, body language and emotional cues in an important skill for effective communication. If you have a child with a social cognitive disorder or developmental disability then you know just how difficult understanding emotional cues can be for them. Below are three activities that will help with learning and practicing how to recognize emotional cues fun instead of frustrating.
Charades is an old standby and the perfect activity for children and adults alike to play together. The rules are easy and universal, simply get others in the group to guess something that you act out. But this simple game can do a lot to help your child practice reading body language and facial expressions.
Another useful tool is emotion flashcards. Usually, you can find cards that depict common facial expressions and it is up to you whether or not you want cards that label these expressions or not. Once you find flashcards that work for your child then you can use them to play games or to talk through emotions. A good tip is to use situational examples. Instead of just asking your child which card represents a happy face, you can ask which card represents the feeling of playing with their favorite toy.
Mute the TV
If your child has a favorite television show or videos that they like to watch, then you can make another game out of learning emotion cues by turning the sound off. Then without having the sound of the characters talking about what’s going on, you can let your child guess from their facial expressions and body language how they are feeling. This is a tricky exercise, so start with something that your child has already seen a few times to help them get the idea.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center is a top therapy center serving families of children and adolescents with disabilities. Our team consists of the leading experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavior sciences. We offer intensive, hands-on therapy for children and adolescents as well as resources for families. We are real therapists helping real families with real issues. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, take a moment to fill out our quick questionnaire. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, call 202-561-1110 (Washington, D.C. office) or 301-577-4333 (Lanham office) or contact us via our website. Want to keep up with our latest news and blog posts? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.