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How can I learn to read people’s expressions and body language?

It can be really difficult for people with autism to understand facial expressions. The main thing to remember is not to worry about it too much.

You might find it helpful to try some of the following ideas:

  • Collect pictures of different facial expressions (you could take photos of family or friends who want to help or you could cut them out of magazines/newspapers etc.). Stick them onto cards with the names of the expressions underneath.
  • With a friend or someone in your family practice getting used to recognising the expressions.
  • When you are with people, look at their expressions and see when they look like the expressions on your cards.
  • As you improve you can try more and more expressions. It won’t be long before you get better and better!


The NAS has some good ideas to help you develop your understanding: