Special Needs

Emotions, sympathy, and empathy

DD is having her major behavioral issues surrounding either anxiety secondary to OCD type "this must be here, this way, don't move it" and not being able to express her own emotions, understand safety or danger (I am serious when I say I don't think she would know if a car even hit her) and even mommy scared emotions - she laughs historically, I think a weird defense mechanism but unsure, and does not understand others' emotions what-so-ever (i.e. hitting, biting feel good to her so when she does it she has actually said when given a choice that it makes the receiver feel good) and only knows nice and not nice per repetitive drilling through therapy and home. 

So curious as to what you think of this article (not like she can read but curious for the future, nor did I see the last line about autism until the second read): https://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=novel-finding-reading-literary-fiction-improves-empathy  as well as other ideas on getting DD to really get emotions and/or respond remotely appropriately

TIA - Will sign on again tomorrow as my online limit for the night is up. 

Re: Emotions, sympathy, and empathy

  • -auntie- said:
    I do believe fiction can be used as a tool to teach Theory of Mind to some degree. It's important to work on fiction anyway as so many schools use a literature based curriculum as kids get older.

    DS and I did a lot of talking about character motivation when I used to read to him. I read to DS nightly until he was in high school. He and DH love being read to- we did all the Harry Potter books, some Star Wars novellas, Mark Twain, etc. You can also use movies to work on this sort of social work. I think it helped to some degree.

    It is good to know that reading aloud helps - she will not sit still yet for a lot of her books, but I do then choose to read out loud (protested or not) to her animals of choice. Which of course she does not give names too other than what they are "bunny," "kitty," "puppy" etc. Right now I am doing the llama series as she is super attached to mommy, there is only a mommy llama and kid llama and it often addresses the exhaustion of doing what you need to do not what you want to do all the time. 

    Another glitch is related to abstract reasoning/higher order thinking and central coherence when reading fiction that includes literary devices. This was an area where DS really struggled. I remember his psych giving him a passage to read once his dyslexia was remediated and he was allegedly reading above grade level. It was a couple paragraphs about a boy walking to school and described the sun low in the sky, needing his heavy coat, puddles covered with ice and snow piled along the road.  DS could not answer the question "in what season did the story take place?". DS swore it didn't say so anywhere in the text. When we explained how to figure it out, he became indignant and declared his opinion that asking for information that wasn't clearly stated was somehow "trickery". We were eventually able to reframe his thinking into it being a puzzle but he doesn't particularly like symbolism and other literary devices- I thought his head was going to explode while reading Animal Farm. 

    This is what concerns me as she goes upward towards academic levels: my first multiple choice test I flunked in 5th and my teacher knew I knew the answers. The problem after about an hour of going over the test and arguing over and over - she had to verbally give it to me and have me tell her the answer - was that the instructions said "Circle the letter before the correct answer" so that is what I did....if the correct response was in choice letter B, I circled letter A as I was told to "circle the letter BEFORE the correct answer." Everyone remembers that in my family to this day - luckily I may know during these instances how my little clone is thinking. 

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