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Teachers Use Improv To Help Children With Autism Identify Emotions

Update Date: Feb 15, 2017 08:27 AM EST
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Individuals diagnosed with autism are often having a hard time when it comes to expressing their emotions. Children with autism would usually find it hard to tell their parents, teachers, and peers how and what they feel as identifying emotions is not common to them, thus it is often perceived that these children lack empathy. An educational breakthrough then surfaced as it was mentioned that teachers use improv to teach children to read and express their emotions.

NPR featured a story where it was mentioned that teachers from Indiana state University use improv to help their students read and identify emotions. Though there are students that would naturally develop their skill, there are those that needs a little push and improv reportedly did the trick.

Teachers would ask students to act out what they feel, as their peers would then guess it. In doing so, children with autism are more open to expressing their emotions as some learn on how to identify certain moods. The Psychology Lab at Indiana State University used improvisational theater to develop and enhance their skills as it has a positive impact on the students.

"What improv really does is create a safe and fun and authentic environment in which to practice, where mistakes really don't matter," says Jim Ansaldo, a research scholar at Indiana University.

Not all children with autism lack empathy, as there are those that can easily identify emotions. There are several ways to teach children with autism cope with emotions and express their feelings, these educators are always coming up with something to make it easier for their students to learn.

Before a parent or a teacher would teach a child with autism to develop empathy, it was mentioned that they should first understand that the child's lack of emotions is unintentional, thus patience is highly required.

Psychology Today explained that one should not exhibit stress, or being anxious when teaching the child for them to feel comfortable and relaxed. Using improv to teach children with autism to read and identify emotions is a great method as it is deemed as fun and games.

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