The week of October 8th at UMFS showed our kids making serious progression not only in camera, interviewing, and editing skills, of which it was apparent they are learning much outside of our class and are enjoying themselves, but also with speaking and opening up to us. According to Do2Learn, a worldwide resource that began in 1996 for individuals with special needs, creativity and innovation can be fostered through recurring contact with the individuals. That doesn’t mean physical contact, but just by meeting with them each week we are forming connections with these kids which help them comfortably branch out and express and interpret new ideas.
Something interesting I found on friendship circle blog was that reading faces and interpreting emotions is one of the most predominant things setting special needs children apart from others:
“This skill is important at home, in school and on the playground. Many misunderstandings arise from kids misinterpreting the emotions of others. Sometimes kids can be confused by what a particular look means. They may easily mistake a look of disappointment and think someone is angry, or they may mistake a nervous expression for a funny one.”
My understanding is that special needs children recognize facial expressions based on constant interaction with specific people, not by constant interaction and reacting to particular facial expressions. In other words, they learn facial expressions from individual people, and relearn the facial expressions each time they are getting to know a new person, they do not easily grasp the concept of a particular facial expressions and relate to every person. This makes it very important that we continue to aid in their learning on a weekly basis.
Here is an article to help us better understand facial expressions, or lack there of. In it, the American Psychological Association analyzes the importance of recognizing some key factors in your face when you are demonstrating a particular emotion. They are the eyes, eyebrows, and mouth, as well as understanding the universal emotions: surprise, fear, disgust, contempt, anger, sadness and happiness, and understanding micro expressions, or facial expressions that pass in an instant. The study of expression is actually a huge branch in psychology and contains some really interesting things.
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