Many emotional concepts are difficult for children with Asperger’s.
Love is probably one of the most complicated emotions of all.
The lack of empathy and inflexibility that many children with Asperger‘s Syndrome live with will definitely make understanding the concept of love difficult.
Difficult, but not impossible.
It is sometimes hard to separate the idea of a person with Asperger’s loving someone from the true source of difficulty, which is the concept of theory of mind.
People with Asperger’s Syndrome feel a full range of emotions: anger, sadness, joy, and yes, love.
However, the problem lies in connecting these feelings to the feelings of others.
Theory of mind is understanding that another person’s thoughts and feelings are their own and how they can coincide with ours, even though they are not reliant on what we are feeling.
The possibilities are there for your child with Asperger’s.
Love is an emotion that they can come to understand.
Here are some things you can do to make sure this happens.
* If your child is still young, behavioral therapists can use play therapy to enhance your child’s theory of mind.
Pretend play can be difficult for children with Asperger’s Syndrome due to the close connection with understanding another’s feelings.
Play skills are important for developing relationships on many levels.
* Practice facial expression and recognition with pictures in books or family photographs.
Explain the emotion and the cause.
Using the ‘say, see, hear’ approach to enhance understanding.
* Social stories and comic strips can also be used to show situations that cause different emotional responses.
Use these to explain why other people may react in various situations.
* If your child is older, social skills therapy can help work on social cues, facial expressions, and basic communication, which in turn, will enhance theory of mind abilities.
The process of developing theory of mind is ongoing in children with Asperger’s.
Love is only a small part of this very complex equation.
While love may be a tricky emotional concept for children with Asperger’s Syndrome, the basic idea of love is very real.
Balancing the feelings of love within a relationship is what will bring on a variety of experiences, both positive and negative.
With straight forward discussion about feelings and emotions, your child should be able to understand love, and be successful at it.
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