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Emotional Intelligence and Autism – How to Bring Out the Best?

When you have a child or family member living with autism, the right specialist support and services can make all the difference to their development and emotional wellbeing. Autism is a condition that has traditionally been misunderstood, but a growing body of medical knowledge and awareness means that there is now access to the right support services and specialist programmes that really make a difference.

Developing emotional intelligence in an individual with autism

Autism is a complex condition that can present in a variety of ways, and with differing degrees of severity. This means that support programmes need to be delivered by highly knowledgeable and experienced specialists in the field in order to be effective, with services targeted to individual needs.

But with the right support, it is possible for individuals with autism to enjoy a high degree of emotional intelligence and emotional insight, allowing them to interact more fully and confidently with those around them.

The challenge with autism

People with autism often find the world around them difficult to decode, especially when it comes to human emotions and relationships. An autism specialist will help these individuals to grow in confidence and to learn useful techniques that allow them to navigate the emotional world.

The value of an autism specialist

For example, the autism specialist might encourage their students to listen to their body for alerts about situations around them. By learning to listen to physical signals and root sensations, students can link reason and objective decisions with the physical cues they are receiving from their bodies. This can be very useful when dealing with potentially dangerous decisions.

Students might also be encouraged to keep a journal to record their feelings on a scale of 0-10, to identify patterns and causes of those figures. This helps to build a connection with feelings. By writing down things that happen and reflecting on the feelings that those events prompted, students can build a stronger degree of emotional intelligence, increasing self-awareness and a sense of control. Various studies show that writing in a journal can be a very powerful activity and a positive one that builds resilience, self-understanding and other positive mental gains.

Another strategy employed for individuals with autism is to teach them how to move on from negative thoughts and how to shift to a more positive outlook. Wallowing in negative experiences can create a sense of hopelessness. The key to success is to teach repeatable techniques that can be readily applied to different areas of life and to have an autism specialist on hand who can flex and adjust learning outcomes to suit specific needs. After all, autism may present certain common characteristics and behaviours, but every individual will have unique needs, abilities and objectives to work towards, depending on their broader life goals and the severity of their condition.

By working on techniques to build EQ, students can become confident and secure in their emotional health and wellbeing and learn to be resilient in the face of challenges.