Teaching emotions to your autistic child

Teaching children with autism about emotions and how to express themselves can be tough.

You might have tried so many different strategies with your child, but each time you feel as though you’re just not getting anywhere.

And you might even start to convince yourself that your child ‘isn’t ready’ and then stop altogether.

I know how this feels from first-hand experience.


I also know what does work.

So, today I’m going to share with you a few strategies I have successfully used over the years to help children with ASD learn and express emotions.


1. The incredible 5 point scale

A fantastic pocket-sized resource, that looks like a mini thermometer. On the scale are 5 colour coded levels/points with pictures of different emotions. What’s great is that none of the emotions are labelled, so you’re free to discuss these and come up with names with your child.

2. Pocket box emotions

I have seen many versions so you’ll be spoilt for choice if you choose to go with these. They often come in a small case or box. The box/case is filled with different pictures of males and females displaying a range of emotions. Each picture is labelled with the emotion underneath or sometimes on the back of the card.

3. Customised flashcards

This one’s for the creative families out there. This resource is made up of small flashcard pictures of relatives and friends displaying different emotions. Research has shown that children with ASD can relate to and understand emotions better if they are displayed by people that they know. So if you’re up for it, get some friends or relatives together and start posing for the camera.

4. Natural environment teaching

This type of strategy is used when a situation naturally arises. For example, something may occur and either yourself or your child may feel sad. The idea is that you’d stop what you were doing and emphasise through expression how you’re feeling and use specific language like “I am/you are feeling sad.”

These are just a few of the great strategies I’ve used…. but inside the ‘Unlimited Autism Success Inner Circle’ I share lots more tried and tested strategies to get your child understanding emotions.

Right now you can join for £12 per month, but from Monday 6th February the price will be going up for good.

Join here, so you don’t miss out.

If you want to start seeing real positive results with your child click below and start your journey.

Click here to join

Speak with you soon until then,

Live every moment, Love beyond words and make a difference today

Emma Ottaway

The Ambitious Autism Ambassador