Children with autism often have difficult recognising the perspective of other people and how the people they are in contact with are feeling.
What is perspective-taking and why is it important?
For successful social interactions and developing reciprocal relationships the ability to recognise that others have their own unique perspective, and to imagine what that perspective might be, is crucial.
Perspective-taking involves processing multiple layers of information, hypothesising about how another person may be feeling or thinking, and adjusting your behaviour accordingly.
While this can be a seemingly automatic process, for some children it can be very challenging and even overwhelming.
5 steps to help your child develop better perspective-taking
1. Help your child recognise their own feelings and responses to situations
Children can't imagine feelings and intentions in others if they don't first recognise them in themselves. You should ask "wondering questions about how your child is feeling, what is happening in their body or what they are thinking. You can help them out by labelling what you observe for them ... for example, "You're sad because Nanna can't visit today."
2. Model and verbalise your own experience and feelings
It’s important that your child can see for themselves the different types of feelings and experiences we all have in response to situations. For example “I’m feeling worried because I’m running late and don’t want to miss the bus.”