Three Ways to Teach Facial Expressions in a Masked World

When Covid came onto the world scene, it was inevitable that it would play a role in our lives. However, two years later it is still present in our communities and has impacted our lives for a longer duration than most expect. This has severely influenced those with disabilities, particularly socially. One significant area that it can impact those with social impairments is in understanding facial expressions and gestures. 

With Covid still on the scene and masks being worn in public, how do you teach those with social impairments facial expressions and gestures? Here are some ideas below. 

  1. Use visuals
    1. Pictures of people your child knows engaging in a variety of facial expressions to identify, find and match facial expressions will help them to gain the skill of being able to express and identify facial expressions. 
  2. Find videos and practice engaging in the facial expressions 
    1. Finding videos of others engaging in facial expressions and having you child practice them will help them to understand the movements to make the facial expressions. Use their favorite tv shows or movies if possible and pause them when facial expressions are made to make it more motivating. 
  3. Teach them how to ask 
    1. Teach your child how to ask someone how they’re feeling. This will be a huge life skill for them and help them in the future to be able to communicate with others when they are unsure how they’re feeling. 

Once your child has mastered these skills, they will be able to understand facial expressions in a variety of ways and environments even if Covid seems to stick around longer. Once they’ve mastered the art of expressions, you could move on to work on greeting others or certain gestures (peace sign, hand shake, thumbs up) along with their meanings as well.