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Learning Facial Expressions With Emojis

Kyson loves emojis!

There are so many videos out there on Youtube with emojis. These videos have been very beneficial to him by recognizing the facial expression on someone. Hopefully one day we can get the feelings to go along with it.

Emojis on videos, emojis on text, even his picture schedule sometimes look like emojis. Emojis everywhere!

How are you?

Trying to teach him the feelings associated with the emoji have been difficult as there’s really no way I know how to teach him how to associate a feeling with a facial expression until he really is truly feeling it. Emojis have helped him recognize other’s emotions by their facial expression but then I don’t think he truly understands the feeling the person is having at the moment…for now.

Someone can be sad and he will say,


Or lately he’s been watching a video with pumpkin feelings, basically emojis. When he’s hungry Kyson will say,

“Hungry pumpkin.”

Even still, the unattachment of facial expression to how one’s feeling is still a work in progress, but I must say he still loves watching his emojis!

I have to admit, it’s cute and I love taking photos of his own imitation of emoji faces. Just wanted to share a few I’ve gotten lately.


Can you guess the emojis? Yep, he even learned how to wink!

Final Thoughts

There’s this belief that people with autism lack empathy and cannot understand emotion. It’s true, many don’t show emotion in ways that people without autism would recognize but this thought that autistics generally lack empathy and cannot recognize feelings is wrong.

It just takes time, a lot of trial-and-error…and c’mon, he’s 5!

He does recognize some, he just doesn’t react to it how the (usual) would because well, we’re a bit unusual.

We’re off Emoji hunting until next time,

-Anna MV

Anna MV

A Hmong woman practicing life finding art in everything. Blogger of Family, Life, Culture, Autism, Self Awarenes

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Robyn

    Wow, that is great! If I had thought of it, we would have used emoji’s as well. Both my boys had trouble with reading emotions. My oldest worked with an OT and they used books. For my youngest, we used emoji like pictures and taped them around our kitchen for quick reference. Emoji’s are such a great idea! And I love Kyson’s faces! 🙂

    1. Anna MV

      Thanks, Robyn! We tried books and actual “boy” faces before but Kyson always preferred emojis 🤣 not sure why either. He loves looking at himself in the mirror to see if he’s imitating it right.

      Slowly getting there but I’m hopeful he will get to know all the feelings.

  2. Ben Butler

    That is such a great way to teach the kids to understand visual ques. Who doesn’t love emojis?

    1. Anna MV

      I know right! 😁 Thanks, Ben! 😊

  3. alex vitte

    Thank you for sharing with us. I loved his imitations of the emoji’s emotions. He did great!

    1. Anna MV

      😊 Thanks for reading!

  4. TheSuperMomLife

    I would have never thought to use emojis. That is actually really smart!

  5. scrapbookadventures365

    This is such a good idea as it’s very much what children are seeing all around them these days!

  6. Yeah Lifestyle

    Kids learn much better with emoji and visual pictures. This is a great idea to get them to show how they feel

  7. Sara Welch

    I never thought of teaching little ones emotions with emojis. Great idea!

  8. bethpierce2013

    Kids are so smart; our little ones understood sign language before they could talk. Using emojis to teach expressions and emotions is a neat idea!

    1. Anna MV

      Yes, my son used sign language too! Thanks!

  9. stickymudandbellylaughs

    What a great way to learn expressions! Well done Kyson 🙂

  10. alexandra cook

    That was too cute to handle! everyone love emojis, I consistently use it everyday when texting and in messenger as well

  11. Rachael Phillips

    who knew that emojiis could actually be useful! what a fab idea and fun too

  12. Nati

    This is awesome! The job you’re doing and Kyson’s response to it teaches us more about autism and emotions. Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Anna MV

      I appreciate your kindness, thank you! 😊

  13. momi berlin

    Those emojis are so cute. they create impart to our copies, and i couldn’ but be so proud of the little kid. he has the cutest facial expressions, too.

    1. Anna MV

      Thanks so much! 😊

  14. Emily

    It’s a really cool way for him to learn! I’ve never heard of emojis being used like this but it’s so smart.

  15. sincerelymissj

    Very interesting post. Never thought to teach kids about facial expressions through emojis.

  16. Irina

    Thank you for sharing such an important topic . Thats so cool that your son is able to recognize emojis.

  17. John Mulindi

    I think it is a good idea to start teaching kids early enough about facial expressions using emojis. Thanks for sharing this. I believe many parents will find this article very useful.

    1. Anna MV

      I agree, thanks for the kind words!


    I don’t have children myself, but will share this post with a few of my friends who do. I am sure they’ll find it very useful when teaching kids facial expressions x

  19. Jho Tacorda

    That’s a cool activity. I can do that with my kid too!:)

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