Inside Out, Disney’s new animated flick, is quickly winning over kids and adults. We love it, too. What appeals to us is that the movie brings emotions to life in a way that makes them easier for kids with Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism (ASD) to understand. So watch it once, twice or thrice with your kiddo, then talk about anger, joy, disgust, fear and sadness (the starring emotions). Don’t stop there: Continue the conversation on a daily basis to develop your sweetie’s ability to recognize and regulate her feelings, comprehend other people’s point of view and socialize more easily. Not sure how? These resources will help you help your child understand emotions:
1. Superflex: It’s a super-fun, super-motivating superhero social thinking curriculum designed to bring awareness to your child’s own thinking and to help develop his social behaviour and emotional self-regulation. The package comes with an awesome comic book, a parent (or teacher) guide and a collection of handouts for your learner.
2. When My Worries Get Too Big: If your child has anxiety, read this with her. The book encourages kids to explore their emotions in various situations – the info is presented through a wonderful character named Nicholas – and teaches relaxation techniques to help worriers calm down.
3. The Hidden Curriculum: It’s challenging for children with Asperger’s to comprehend nuances in social dynamics. To help make peer interaction less confusing and frustrating, use the tips in this book to teach your kiddo how to understand unstated social rules.
4. We Can Make It Better: Practice social problem-solving with your sweetie by acting out the flexible stories included in this fun program.
5. Social Skills Training: This manual is chockfull of ready- and easy-to-use lessons and activities that help strengthen the social skills of your child or teen.
6. The Language of Perspective Taking: This engaging program helps make social situations easier for kids with Asperger’s/ASD by teaching them how to identify and understand emotions in others.
7. Social Stories: Whether you write them yourself (here’s how) or read pre-penned ones, such as those by Carol Gray, social stories can help kids, for example, grasp the rules and expectations of peer interaction (think: Taking turns and how to talk to kids at the park) and identify and articulate how they feel during various events.