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.