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Using TikTok to Teach Feelings

By Rosemarie Griffin

Autistic learners need some extra help expressing their emotions. By no means does that mean that they do not have emotions, of course they do! Oftentimes children with autism don’t have the words to express their emotions. Understanding that emotions can be learned is so important for caregivers, parents, and children with autism to understand. We can still learn what emotions look like and feel like! Now one way to do this is with videos of real emotions! Who doesn’t love a good scroll on TikTok, but why not use TikTok to teach feelings! TikTok has some exceptional reels that are perfect for quick, engaging, and fun lessons for our young autistic learners. Preschool age children and toddlers will love watching babies laughing, crying, screaming with delight, or even making the cutest angry faces! Using TikTok to teach feelings is an exciting way of engaging learners quickly and effectively! 

Remember expressing emotions is not easy for most of the general population, so when our autistic toddlers or preschoolers are struggling with labeling or showing an emotion, be patient. It is going to take time for our autistic students to understand and identify those emotions. Being relatable to children and showing them other children doing fun things like blowing bubbles or playing at the park or even picking strawberries in the summer is helpful to understanding emotions in different settings. It is also helpful to see real life images to see facial expressions and how children react in certain situations. TikTok is a platform for any type of video, but ABA Speech has TikTok too and I love sharing reels with important tips and support for parents, teachers, therapists, and anyone else looking for ideas when working with autistic learners. TikTok is this gem of a resource because the videos are real life people in real life situations! Some of the reels are hilarious, while others are showing sadness. This can be perfect for autistic learners. 

One of my favorite TikTok videos I have on ABA Speech is perfect for teaching emotions as it is twin babies sharing completely opposite emotions! Check it out here! The video is great for autistic learners to see babies reacting to the same topic, but differently. It also shows facial expressions and gives an opportunity for a good laugh among us all! 

Remember when it comes to working with autistic toddlers and preschoolers, it is really important to recognize that emotions are tough to feel, express and identify. Besides using video reels on TikTok, using real photographs of children and adults in real situations is a great way to share emotions with our learners. Go to our ABA Speech TPT Store and get our Adapted Feelings Book and Feelings Picture Scenes! They are a great way to work with autistic learners on emotions. The book uses comprehension questions, labeling, and some discussion questions to keep the conversation moving about what emotions we feel daily! It is the perfect addition to a TikTok video, and together would make a great lesson in emotions! 

Follow ABA Speech on TikTok and use the Adapted Feelings Book to help our autistic learners be able to identify, share, and process emotions in a powerful way. Emotions are tough for everyone, and our autistic learners just need a little extra modeling and teaching in this area to help process what each emotion looks like to others and feels like to them! Don’t forget to check out ABA Speech on TikTok to help you teach feelings today!


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IEP Goal Bank

Writing IEPs for autistic learners can feel daunting.

From this free download, you'll get real-life examples of specific, measurable goals for expressive language, receptive language, play skills, and imitation.

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