Sunday, 21 July 2013

Sharing Our Feelings

This weekend, I asked Alex how he was feeling.

He thought about it for a minute and then said: Happy.

This is the first time Alex has ever shared an unprompted emotion with me.  Most of the time, his language is very functional: I want this, I don't want that.

I've been working on teaching him to express his feelings with words (rather than aggression or tantrums) but it's tricky in that I can't always be sure that I'm accurately reading his emotional state.  It's easy enough to tell he's upset but is he feeling frustrated?  Hurt?  Frightened?  Or the most likely option, a combination?

When I've felt it was fairly obvious what he was feeling, I've prompted him to tell me.  I ask: How do you feel, Alex?, give him a moment to respond and then prompt: I feel <happy, sad, tired, etc>.  He'll repeat the phrase after me and then I praise him for his answer.

This weekend was the first time he responded without the prompt.

Which makes me pretty happy myself.

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