Channeling Feelings is Key
The autistic child does not lack feelings, but does have difficulty in verbally expressing them. When teaching feelings to autistic children, educators must first polish their own communication skills and be open to new avenues of instruction. Here we share specific ideas and methods from experts which work for both educators and parents.
In Elaine Hall's book, Now I See the Moon, and in her upcoming book, Seven Keys to Unlock Autism, the nationally renowned author, speaker, and founder of The Miracle Project Theater provides amazing insight into teaching feelings to autistic children - specifically, how to express them. As the mother of a teenage son with autism, she continues to experience firsthand the phenomenal results creative techniques accomplish.
In teaching feelings to autistic children using music, art and drama, children can productively channel frustrations and help express locked away emotions. With her theory that "behavior is all communication," Ms. Hall earned the title "The Child Whisperer" in a recent N.Y Times article. When many traditional methods failed to help her non-verbal autistic son relate to his surroundings, she garnered a field of professional singers, dancers and actors who used their expertise to devise ways to reach these and other special needs children. Their work, under her direction, resulted in the HBO Documentary, "Autism:The Musical," which is showcased more fully at www.themiracleproject.com.