Products for Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Dealing with emotions can be difficult for any child and even for adults. When we have children with autism and Asperger Syndrome (AS), teaching them how to recognize emotions and understand what they are feeling and how to express themselves in an appropriate manner is extremely difficult. Children with these differences see the world in their own unique way. They often have trouble seeing the other person’s perspective. This leads others to feel that they are rude or do not care.

The products that I have created help teach and guide children in getting in touch with their emotions and learning how to express them. In more than a decade of working with children with autism and AS, I have learned how important it is to be creative and think out of the box. Some of us are lucky enough to speak and understand the language of emotions fluently. We get “it “ Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who do not. We need to give the kids the tools that will help them to understand and read situations. We need to help them read the cues of when someone is really your friend and when someone is teasing you. We need to help them speak a language which is very foreign to them. We need to help them see the ways others see the word. When I create a product, I make sure they “work” for the kids. The small card with the faces has been called “Guthrie’s” card. Guthrie, then 9, took an advertisement for the poster cut it in half and placed it on his desk so he could show his teacher how he was feeling.

The Emotional Stickers and Poster help others to show them the different emotions they may be feeling and also to label the emotions of others. The stickers can be used in notes and stories to identify their own feelings and how their behavior may lead to different feelings in others. The stickers can also be used to create an emotional dictionary, describing each feeling and relating it to their life experiences.

Match Your Emotions is a fun game that allows you to further explore emotions with the child. When you call out an emotion you can have the child 1) name a time when you felt this way 2)name a time when you noticed someone else felt this way 3) name a time when you made someone else feel this way. This bingo game has been extremely successful in helping kids have positive conversations about how to recognize emotions in themselves and others, how their behaviors effect the ways others feel and what they might do differently to get a different response.

Flag Your Feelings gives children and adults a way to communicate their needs and feelings non-verbally. They are very useful for teachers in a classroom setting and have also been used very successfully by parents in public situation where they do not want to draw attention to the child’s behavior.

While children with autism and AS have many things in common, they are each unique. Down by the Sea and Outdoor Extreme are “Taylor-made” games. The parent or teacher completes an extremely detailed questionnaire regarding behavior, sensory, communication, friendship, and family issues. Cards are then hand tailored for the child and family to allow for a game that also helps develop behavior plans for addressing specific issues.

Hopefully, my products can make your life a little easier and bring a little fun into dealing with serious issues. Always remember to surround yourself and your children with people who understand the uniqueness of these children and get “it” when it comes to relating to them.

©2003 Oceans of Emotions