When a child cannot express his feelings: Alexithymia

The term alexithymia refers to a type of neurological disorder that affects certain people and whose symptoms are the inability to identify, understand and / or describe one’s own feelings or those of others.

People affected by this syndrome cannot put words to their feelings, despite wanting to do so, so they do not understand their own experiences or the experiences of others. This can be frustrating for everyone, both those who lack an emotional response and those who expect one for any cause.

Common symptoms in people with alexithymia

  • Difficulty distinguishing between feelings and physical sensations from emotional stimulation .
  • Difficulty identifying the different types of feelings.
  • Difficulty expressing feelings .
  • Difficulty recognizing the facial cues of others.
  • Limited imagination capacity .
  • Rigid thinking.
  • Hypersensitivity to physical sensations.


All parents want our children to be able to communicate with us and with the people around them, seeing growth and emotional development in them. That is why it is important to remain attentive to the different problems that usually arise or to the ability of our children to communicate, to know if they are developing within normal limits, or are having certain difficulties that could be associated with disorders or more serious problems. , such as alexithymia, which on certain occasions can be related to autism spectrum disorders.

However, we must remain calm and realize that these types of problems occur on relative occasions, and that it is likely that if our child is having difficulties expressing himself, this is normal and can be solved with simple techniques, such as work with emotion cards to learn to identify and show them the meaning of each one, often through images.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});


Guidelines to follow to teach to identify emotions at home

  • It is advisable for parents to help their children learn and identify emotions, both their own and those of others, from an early age. We must let the child express his emotions freely to teach him to regulate them.
  • It is important to bear in mind that affective communication always has positive effects on them. For example, if you notice that your child has a facial expression that is a visual representation of anger, it would be helpful to say something like, “I see you angry. Has something bothered you? ” This knowledge will help you with your own frustration when conflict arises, providing you with a healthier means of communication.
  • Use games and educational materials that help the child to understand different emotions in a fun and enjoyable way, such as the so-called ” anger box “.
  • Reading stories with illustrations is a great learning tool, which also helps to understand expressive language.
  • Realization of home theater plays, through dramatization with different characters and situations that require the use of different types of facial expressions.

Leave a Reply