Autism - Emotions
Just because someone with autism may find it hard to express their feelings, that doesn't mean they don't have any feelings to express.
My stripes may be different but my heart beats the same.
What autism is not - While it is crucial to know what the autism spectrum encompasses, it is also important to identify what autism is not. Here are a few things commonly confused with autism spectrum disorders:
- No desire for social interaction - Autism does not mean that a child does not want to participate in social interactions or activities, but rather that he or she does not know how.
- No feelings - The lack of empathy observed in children has led many to believe that those with ASD do not have feelings. Children with autism may express their emotions differently than we are used to, but this does not mean that they have no emotional capacity.
Autistic people have empathy. They feel. They think. They know. They love. They hug. They kiss. It might not be when we want it or expect it but it dosen't mean they're not feeling it.
Just because they don't talk it doesn't mean they don't have anything to say - ideas, dislikes, preferences, feelings, thoughts.
Myth: Children with autism aren't happy and don't smile. BUSTED.
Autism myth: People with autism don't want friends. TRUTH - Though social challenges may make it difficult to interact with peers, children and adults with autism both need and want the chance to make friends.
Sign your emotions: aggravated, angry, ashamed, brave, cheerful, confused, depressed, eager, embarrassed, excited, frustrated, grieving, grouchy, guilty, happy, hateful, hurt, jealous, laughing, lazy, lonely, mean, nervous, peaceful, proud, relaxed, sad, satisfied, scared, selfish, shocked, silly, sorry, surprised, vain, worried
Are you aware of how you are feeling now? aggressive, agonized, anxious, apologetic, arrogant, bashful, blissful, bored, cautious, cold, concentrating, confident, curious, demure, determined, disappointed, disapproving, disbelieving, disgusted, distasteful, eavesdropping, ecstatic, enraged, envious, exasperated, exhausted, frightened, frustrated, grieving, guilty, happy, horrified, hot, hungover, hurt, hysterical, idiotic, indifferent, innocent, interested, jealous, loaded, lonely, lovestruck, meditative, mischievous, miserable, negative, obstinate, optimistic, pained, paranoid, perplexed, prudish, puzzled, regretful, relieved, sad, satisfied, sheepish, shocked, smug, surly, surprised, suspicious, sympathetic, thoughtful, turned-on, undecided, withdrawn
- intensity strong happy - ecstatic, elated, energized, enthusiastic, excited, exuberent, jubilant, loved, marvelous, terrific, thrilled, uplifted
- intensity mild happy - admired, alive, amused, appreciated, assured, cheerful, confident, delighted, determined, encouraged, fulfilled, grateful, gratified, joyful, justified, optimistic, proud, releived, resolved, respected, valued
- intensity weak happy - content, flattered, fortunate, glad, good, hopeful, peaceful, pleased, relaxed, satisfied
- intensity strong sad - crushed, defeated, dejected, depressed, devasted, disgraced, drained, exhausted, helpless, hopeless, hurt, rejected, terrible, unloved, unwanted, discarded, sorrowful, uncared for, worthless, wounded, burdened, condemned, demoralized, deserted, distraught, empty, grievous, humbled, miserable, mournful, pitiful, shattered
- intensity mild sad - ashamed, despised, disappointed, discouraged, disheartened, disillusioned, dismal, distant, distressed, inadequate, isolated, lonely, neglected, slighted, unappreciated, upset, abandoned, alienated, degraded, deprived, disturbed, drained, islanded, resigned, slighted, wasted
- intensity weak sad - apathetic, bad, deflated, disenchanted, lost, sorry
- intensity strong angry - abused, betrayed, enraged, furious, hateful, hostile, humiliated, incensed, outraged, pissed off, rebellious, repulsed, seething, strangled, vengeful, exploited, fuming, mad, patronized, repulsed, spiteful, throttled, used, vindictive
- intensity mild angry - agitated, annoyed, controlled, disgusted, exasperated, frustrated, harassed, infantilized, irritated, offended, peeved, resentful, ridiculed, smothered, stifled, aggravated, anguished, cheated, coerced, deceived, dominated, provoked
- intensity weak angry - dismayed, displeased, tolerant, uptight
- intensity strong scared - afraid, appalled, desperate, dread, fearful, frantic, horrified, intimidated, overwhelmed, panicky, petrified, shocked, terrified, tormented, vulnerable
- intensity mild scared - alarmed, apprehensive, axed, defensive, guarded, insecure, shaken, skeptical, startled, stunned, suspicious, tense, threatened, uneasy
- intensity weak scared - anxious, concerned, doubtful, impatient, nervous, perplexed, reluctant, shy, timid, unsure
- intensity strong confused - baffled, bewildered, constricted, directionless, flustered, stagnant, trapped
- intensity mild confused - ambivalent, awkward, disorganized, doubt, foggy, hesitant, misunderstood, perplexed, puzzled, torn, troubled
- intensity weak confused - bothered, distracted, surprised, uncertain, uncomfortable, undecided, unsettled, unsure
optimism, love, submission, awe, dispproval, remorse, contempt, aggressiveness
- serenity, joy, ecstacy
- acceptance, trust, admiration
- apprehension, fear, terror
- distraction, surprise, amazement
- pensiveness, sadness, grief
- boredom, disgust, loathing
- annoyance, anger, rage
- interst, anticipation, vigilance
lost in thought
Autism Meltdown / Shutdown Chart - Please give me a quiet dark space. Thank you.
- blue - I can't breathe near you
- red - spewing anger or rage
- green - sick to my stomach
- yellow - unable to process anything right now.
Stimming now is better than meltdowning later
Tantrum vs. Meltdown
- both - screaming, kicking, shouting, stomping, swearing, biting, etc.
- tantrum - A) Driven by a want or goal B) Usually it's because they want something C) They check you're paying attention to their behaviour D) They act this way in fromt of an audience E) Once they've got what they want, the behaviour will cease
- meltdown - A) Driven by reaction to something B) A reaction to overload or feeling overwhelmed C) They don't care if they get attention or not D) Their behaviour will continue even without an audience E) There is no goal. The behavior will only cease once they've calmed down or when a loved one has helped them regain control
Remember people with autism have feelings too. Be sensitive and tolerant.