Children with autism are often notoriously poor at identifying, understanding, expressing, and handling their emotions. Meltdowns and tantrums can be common, and the ability to recover from these outbursts can be elusive. Emotion coaching is therefore a crucial component of any autism therapy program.
Helping children with autism deal with feelings should be accomplished not only during play dates and social skills practice, but also during more traditional cognitive and academic behavioral teaching. In fact, an argument can be made that the ability to handle emotions is more important than the ability to excel academically.
Dr. Stanley Greenspan, who emphasized the importance of learning emotions and social skills for children with autism, discussed the need to teach those skills together with academics in “Engaging Autism.”
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