Kids on the autism spectrum are loving, smart, and determined. They are very passionate and tend to be experts in the things they are interested in. Their ability to think visually and logically often helps others solve problems and makes them a great person to have as a friend or teammate.
One way of helping kids who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to keep their cool is to pair conversations around emotional regulation with something they are passionate about. Topics like animals, trains, Legos, music, or whatever your child is interested in can be tailored to a conversation around mental health and well-being.
For example, kids who love Minecraft may be more open to talking about emotions through characters from the game. Get creative with the situations the characters are in, and how they each might be feeling. This is a great way to explore emotions and talk about different ways the characters react and interact based on their emotions. Because the conversation is connected to Minecraft, many kids are more open and excited to share.
Topics like animals, trains, Legos, music, or whatever your child is interested in can be tailored to a conversation around mental health and well-being.
Themed feelings charts can also be great tools. You can often find charts that match your child’s interests by Googling a topic. For example, the search “Lego feelings chart,” will give you plenty of great ideas. Using these charts to check in about how your child is feeling when they wake up, after school, or at dinner with the whole family can be a great way to open up a conversation around emotions and situations throughout the day.
The most important thing is to take time to learn about your child’s interests, ask questions, and share along with them. Don’t shy away from learning something new and getting excited about what they love with them.