In one study, children between 4 and 8 years old, with and without autism , observed five facial expressions: happy, sad, angry, fearful and neutral on the faces of family members and strangers.
Children without autism found it easier to recognize negative expressions (sad and angry).
But the research found that children with autism spectrum can interpret the feelings sketched on their mothers’ faces as well as children without the disorder.
Until then, other studies had shown that they were able to recognize that there was some emotion on the mother’s face, but not to interpret it.
Scientists recommend other similar studies to analyze whether this recognition is also made with familiar faces other than mothers, such as fathers, siblings, schoolmates.
Even so, they still consider that children with autism cannot interpret the emotions emblazoned on unfamiliar faces.
The researchers believe that this limited ability stems from the lack of eye contact with people’s faces.
The research, which was done at the University of Atlântica, in the United States, was published in the journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development.
Care for children with autism?
All children need special care and attention. Each will have specific needs according to their limitations, personality and age. Similarly with children with autism.
Some precautions need to be taken to promote good development during childhood, such as:
- Learn to communicate with your child: use easy words and make simple gestures. The child’s attention is captured by visual things. Figures and images facilitate communication;
- Play and tell short stories: Buckets, jars, paper and cardboard are great examples of safe toys. Enjoy a moment of relaxation for the child to tell a short story, making intonations in the voice and showing pictures;
- Sensitive: the child with the autistic spectrum is sensitive. Be careful with the tone and volume of the voice. Never shout. Touch can also be annoying. Be careful when giving hugs and kisses, as this can make the child uncomfortable and irritated;
- Pets: Animals, if introduced to friends, can help the child to interact and improve mood, as isolation is gradually avoided.
Studies have aided in the knowledge about autism. The discovery that people with autism can recognize some expressions of the mother demonstrates the harmony of the maternal relationship.
Continuing to study children with varying levels of social and emotional development can help uncover some important aspects of how to treat and address the condition.