Disclaimer: Anything written here is not to be considered medical advice or to treat or diagnose any medical condition. I do not claim to be an expert on anything except myself and my own experiences. Anything written in this blog is available for anyone to try. It may or may not work since everyone on the spectrum is different. It may inspire someone to try something similar or spark a completely new idea.
One thing I noticed when watching blog videos of people on the Autism Spectrum is the use of eyebrows. Mainly, the lack of use. Some people on the spectrum tend not to (naturally) control this area. This does not mean it can’t be taught and learned.
Eyebrow use is important because it helps convey the message that the speaker is communicating. If someone doesn’t use the eyebrows very much, the other person may think that person is insincere. One example is to imagine that your friend’s dog died. You would say you’re sorry to hear that. If your eyebrows don’t move, it may seem like you don’t care. If you say it with the center of your eyebrows up, it would back up your words to convey sympathy.
Before my diagnosis, I watched an interview with a psychopath. He did not move his eyebrows, and seem to have cold eyes. I considered that I could have been a psychopath as well, but discounted that theory since I cared about people a great deal. I did not want to convey that I was a cold blooded killer, so I studied eyebrow usage and started using my eyebrows when speaking.
To study how people use the eyebrows, I watched interviews, gameshows, TV shows, and Movies. I paid attention to how the eyebrows move and when they move. Older shows seem to work better because the camera stays on the person longer. The actors seem to overact in older movies as well.
Another tip is to watch the program with the sound off. This will help the viewer concentrate on the eyes more.
I would also recommend watching programs from other countries to see the difference in eyebrow use. Interviews from Japanese programs show that people from this culture do not move their eyebrows as much as Americans.
Another way is to practice in front of the mirror. Ask friends and family to mimic certain emotions and photograph their faces when doing each one. Having a friend tell a story while making note of when eyebrow movement takes place is also helpful.