Social skills and social thinking are not easy for children who have neurological disorder. Careful and intense instruction can help a child learn these skills which will improve their capacity to learn in all areas. Before I give my support to these instructional tools, I’d like to state that I have no financial interests in this resource and receive nothing from the author or publisher. I’ve merely used the resource and found it to be an effective tool for teaching children with behaviour challenges to make positive changes in their lives. In fact, I was so impressed with the resources, that I purchased a set for my stepson’s (self-contained behaviour) classroom teacher. Using the resources together, we were able to establish common language and understanding to support my stepson’s profound behaviour challenges at school and at home.
Profoundly challenged by TS, OCD and ADHD, my stepson had absolutely no self regulation skills. He lived his entire 10 years (at that time) “in the moment” that he was experiencing. He’d hyper-focus on himself only, and gave absolutely no thought to future or past events or to others in any given situation. Even if he was given candy, it would be forgotten (forever more) as soon as it was out of his sight. He did not connect responses of other people to past events or behaviours. Without any ability to control himself, he was unaware of “cause and effect“. He didn’t even see “the effect”. He’d wonder why he was in trouble, react with violence, be consequenced, then move on (without learning anything to prevent recurrences).
As a special education teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, I can confidently state that these resources were tremendously helpful. When challenging behaviours arose, my family members were able to identify the behaviour (“You’re seem to have a bit of a Glassman acting in you” or “I’m sorry, that was a total Topic Twistermeister”).
Although there are a number of resources listed on the website, my spouse and I selected two story booklets and a teacher’s resource. The first booklet is titled, “You are a Social Detective“, the second is titled, “Superflex“, and the teacher resource is titled, “Superflex… A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum“.
Social Detective is a story in comic format. It is geared to students in grades K-5, but given many of the children in the target audience are often less mature than their grade level peers, it may be acceptable for slightly older students. When accompanied by student discussion and reflection, the story effectively teaches students to expand their attentional focus from egocentric to external – to encompass OTHER people rather than just themselves. This may seem like an odd statement, but if you have experienced a student who is so affected by their disorder that they don’t know they’ve done something wrong until they are being yelled at, you’ll understand.