Hello again everyone! In the past month or so, I have been working on a few materials to help kids understand and handle CHANGE. Most of the kids I work with are elementary-age, and on the “high” end of the autism spectrum. It seems that more and more of my students – no matter what the label is on their IEPs – have executive function needs. This is kind of a buzz-word in education now, and it seems it can encompass so many skills! This is one of my newest areas of interest.
In the meantime, I have been searching for materials out there to help kids with understanding change, “quantifying” degrees of change, and building skills to help a child who has difficulty with changes – like my ASD friends. I really have not come across many resources that fit what I am looking for, so here I am – creating my own stuff again. There will be a few posts over the next couple of weeks with different tools and resources I have put together. Feel free to use these materials as you see fit, and once again…please leave my name attached to the document 🙂
This first tool is a PowerPoint slide show which kind of follows a “social story” format. The slides define CHANGE for kids in terms of those changes one knows about ahead of time, or those that are predictable (“expected” changes), and those changes that one cannot predict – those little surprises that can throw a person for a loop (“unexpected changes”). The slides go on to describe that these changes can also be categorized as “welcome” or “unwelcome”. One theme of the story is that the unexpected, unwelcome changes are the toughest to deal with, and many times these types of changes mean you have to do something you don’t want to do. And of course, EVERYONE has to do stuff they don’t want to do. And, by the way – refusing that stuff…brings you more trouble. The lesson slides conclude with listing 5 tools that you can use to help handle CHANGES.
Presenting these slides to my students took about three, 20-minute group sessions. I used this with my kindergarten friends, all the way up to my 5th grade kids. The level of discussion complexity and examples we all shared is what was varied. I would recommend having a list of CHANGE examples that are relevant for your students prior to beginning this lesson sequence. I found the most value in sharing my examples, and hearing examples that the kids came up with – and was pleasantly surprised at how astute my little friends were in sharing personal connections to the information on each slide.
So – I have attached a link to the PowerPoint file here. I will also post it on the webpage in this blog under: Friendship and Interaction Skills – Teaching Ideas.
Check back later this week for more tools related to this topic… Jill 🙂