Thursday, January 23, 2014

Feelings and Emotions

A common characteristic of having an Autism Spectrum Disorder is the difficulty with being able to express and/or regulate feelings and emotions.  Dominic has been working on some homework from his social worker that was eight pages long. Each page had a feeling - happy, sad, angry, excited, disappointed, tired, upset, and afraid.  On each page, Dominic had to list something or someone that made him happy, sad, etc.  We worked on it a little last night and he had a very hard time with the assignment.  He kept repeating the same people that made him happy, sad, etc.  I don't think he truly understood what he had to do. One emotion that I know Dominic can express is compassion.  During this past holiday break, we watched a DVD of Frosty's Winter Wonderland many, many times.  It's not the original version, it's actually where Frosty gets married to his snow "wife." Jack Frost is in the movie and is jealous. There is a scene after Frosty gets married, where Jack Frost makes Frosty loose his "magic" hat and he isn't alive anymore.  Every single time Dominic has watched that particular scene, he gets really upset and covers his ears and hums loudly. It bothers him quite a bit.  Dominic is still working on "regulating" his emotions when he gets frustrated at home.  Sometimes he'll scream or run around because he's incredibly upset about something.  After he calms himself back down, I'll ask him if he's okay.  His response back will be, "feeling sorry for himself." At least he knows when he is :)  A few days ago, Dominic out of the blue said, "Mommy is mean!"  I told him, "that hurt Mommy's feelings."  He didn't say it again, so maybe he understood that it made me sad when he said that! We will continue to work with him on being able to identify his feelings and emotions.  I know one emotion I feel when I see this - happy!


  1. Great post. I'm here via Love That Max and I love your writing. I can completely relate to Dominic's struggle. I am an adult with autis, also diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (aka emotion regulation disorder). I can get extremely upset when I can't communicate something. I don't become physically aggressive anymore, but I do scream. I also wouldn't be able to do this assingnent. I have an extremely hard time distinguishing sad from angry or disappointed.

  2. Thanks so much for your comment!!!


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