How do I Teach Children with Autism about Empathy?

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Check Out the New Blog To teach children with autism, one had to understand them.An important difference between typical students and those with autism is the development of mirror neurons. Mirror neurons enable a person to “mirror” actions, thoughts and feelings. People with autism lack the early development of their mirror neurons.

Mirror neurons allow us to watch others while physically and emotionally “feeling” what we are seeing.

Close your eyes and imagine watching a tightrope walker carefully walking across a high wire. Notice how your own body reacts to the balancing of the walker high above the ground. What you are feeling is your mirror neurons reporting.

This also occurs when we see a child crying and can “feel” their pain and sorrow.

People with autism are believed to be delayed in the development of mirror neurons and often lag in their ability to experience true empathy. They may not really feel what another person is feeling just by looking at someone.

In order to improve empathy development as you teach children with autism, it is best to highlight what is happening with language.

For example: “June is crying because she fell and hurt her knee. Remember when you fell and hurt your knee? Ouch!”

Learn More… Take this course: Introduction to Autism

Discuss Here: How would you help teach children with autism?

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