Showing posts with label Teaching Emotions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teaching Emotions. Show all posts

Success over the Years: Practical Tips for Sharing (and Losing!)


Sharing is a social skill that we start teaching when children are as young as 1-2 years of age, but it continues over the years. To be successful in social interactions, we share more than just our toys and possessions. We share our stories, our thoughts, our ideas, and our feelings with others throughout our lives. 
Tips for successfully building social language skills for peer interactions from LLL.

Our language skills impact how we are able to share and interact. 
These practical tips for sharing will make your therapy more successful at building social language interaction skills while directly working on other speech/language goals.

Research shows that there are many factors that have an impact on sharing behavior: understanding of ownership, impulse control, and thinking about others’ perspectives, to name just a few.

How does this affect what we do in speech/language therapy and classrooms, especially with our autistic kids who are more likely to be bullied?

Tips for preschoolers to early elementary students


👀 Begin to teach sharing in activities with items that are not owned or possessed by either child, such as play sharing activities between two characters, working on pronouns his, hers, theirs.

👀 Practice sharing and turn-taking between children using similar objects that are not highly preferred by either, such as puzzles, and teach pronouns yours and mine.

👀 Have children request toys from each other during play rather than grabbing, teaching polite words such as "Can I?", please, and thank you.

👀 Have  children learn to wait for turns, teaching words like wait, short turn, and long turn.

👀 Start teaching perspective-taking skills by having them look at their peer and tell you how that child is feeling while waiting.

👀 Use a timer at first, if needed, but don’t stop there. Students need to learn to be able to share of their own accord rather than being told when to share (whether in words or timer use.)

👀 It is okay not to share everything! When we have new toys or very special items, we don’t always want to share. Just don’t bring them to school. At home, keep the special toys out of sight when friends come over or designate a nonshared toy for each sibling.


Read books about sharing to discuss how it makes people feel.
    👀 Read stories and discuss how we feel when someone grabs something, when we are waiting too long, or when we don’t get a turn.


      Helpful books for this age range, that directly discuss sharing, are shown in the picture.

Tips for later elementary students to teens



At older ages, students have learned to share objects. Our autistic students may actually share too much, according to research, accepting unfair trades and giving away more than they keep. Students in these age ranges may have problem sharing more abstract items, even though they can share common items perfectly well at this point.    
Tips to build skills in older students for losing games gracefully.


Sharing: Who Wins the Game?


This is often a problem, but there are some things that you can do.

👀 Begin with cooperative games where there are no losers and no winners. Teach concepts like having fun playing the game and co-operating.

👀 Use games where students don’t win, but they get to make predictions about what piece or color will win. They can even change their predictions along the way! Teach concepts such as first, then, next, and change.

👀 Play act sore losers and poor winners versus graceful ones with the game pieces. Talk about how that makes people feel and which type of player they would choose for the next game.

👀 Instead of congratulating and keeping track of the winners, give points for being kind/graceful winners or losers. Talk about if they enjoyed playing the game.

👀 Keep a chart of how many times your students politely played until the game was finished.

Join the Looks Like Language to Me Facebook group for this free social rules story about losing games!
👀 Join the Facebook group ‘Looks Like Language to Me’ to download the free social rules story to use with your students.

Sharing: Telling a Story

Make sure that your students are able to share personal narratives. You may be surprised at who has problems with this!

👀 Students who can only tell a fact about their weekend, rather than a cohesive story, may have problems having age-appropriate conversations with peers.

👀 Students who have problems clearly and quickly retelling a plot of a tv show, movie, or video game will be left out of these conversations.

👀 Students who aren’t able to share what they liked or disliked, and why, may not be able to actively participate in peer conversations about a movie, game or tv show.

👀 For working on narratives, learn about Story Grammar and adjust the ideas to the age level of your students.


Sharing: Feelings


Students who have problems labeling and expressing their own feelings are likely to not understand what to say or do when peers reach out to them in conversation about a problem they are having.

Students who are both impulsive and unable to verbally share their feelings are also likely to be the students who disrupt games with physical reactions like storming out or throwing the game on the floor. Try the tips listed above as they may not have been able to learn this skill when younger.

Sharing Equally- or Being Fair


As mentioned before, autistic students are more likely to just be compliant and overshare, or accept less than their fair share, which can lead to being bullied.

This can cause difficulties for resolving conflicts in middle and high school, where students often need to work in groups. Having the language to negotiate and stand up for ourselves is a functional skill that may need to be directly worked on.


Want to read more?

Helpful Articles

Sharing skills, and what we are sharing, change over the years, but are an ever present part of social interactions over a lifetime. The research is vast, but here are a few helpful articles to check out.

Mine or Yours? Development of Sharing in Toddlers in Relation to Ownership Understanding
This article has a great overview of some research on sharing and gives insight on the development of sharing skills.
Young Brains Lack Skills for Sharing
This quick read gives information about neurological skills needed for sharing.
Do Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Share Fairly and Reciprocally?
An in-depth research article that cites information about the possible roles of many neurological skills in sharing, including Theory Of Mind.
Research finds kids share when it's done by choice.
Another quick read that tells us that we need to teach children to make choices to share rather than making them share.

Inexpensive Ways to have Non-scary Fun this Halloween


Halloween fun doesn’t have to be expensive or scary! Try using felt when working with your younger students and get great results. The three engaging ideas featured here are easy to do and only require basic supplies, like felt, tape and markers. Give it a try!

Get great results using felt in play with your young language delayed students this HalloweenQ

Felt is such an inexpensive, versatile way to make your own therapy materials!  With every color available, you can make simple felt shapes to match every holiday and season. All it takes is the right color felt, a marker, a simple shape you can draw, and glue to keep it closed.








Find out how to make and use a pumpkin bag for emotions at Looks Like Language!
How to Make A Quick and Easy Bag

👻 Get a piece of felt that is double the size of the shape.
👻 Draw the shape on one side of the felt with the permanent marker, fold the felt in half and cut around it. Ghosts and pumpkins are easy to draw!
👻 Glue the sides together and voila! You have a cute little felt bag.
👻 In a hurry? Staple the sides together and put some tape over the staple backs if you have concerns about pricking little fingers.

Hide It!

Young students love to find hidden things! Try hiding small pumpkins with varied emotions faces inside a big pumpkin bag. Elicit a targeted speech or language production and then let students pick a pumpkin with feelings out of the bag. Find out what makes them feel that way!

A great thing about using felt is that students have something safe to hold onto and play with while waiting their turn!

Language you can model includes:
🎃 spatial concepts (in, out, on)
🎃 emotion vocabulary (happy, sad, scary)
🎃 descriptive words (scary, spooky, funny, silly, safe) 
🎃 colors
🎃 sizes

Young students will have fun just playing the game, but you can make duplicates of the emotion pumpkins to play and see who gets the most matches.

Sensory Issues

When there are no issues of tactile defensiveness, young students love to find whatever is hiding inside the bag. It’s kind of like getting a present!

But for kids with sensory issues, you may find it helpful to put the pieces you want to place inside the bag and the bag itself on the table. Felt is a soft, familiar material and many kids will explore it on their own when they are totally in charge of the pace.

For kids who still have issues, try these ideas after exploration time.
👻 Play a cleanup game where you name or describe one of the felt figures and see if they can find it.
👻 Let the child pick it up and put it inside.
👻 If this is still too much, place them far apart and see if the child will look at the one you named.
👻 Then make a mini version that you leave on the table in front of them. Just let them peek or participate in whatever way they can handle until the activity is familiar.
👻 Hide a few little pieces of a food reinforcer amidst the felt pieces to reinforce exploring.

Build language skills in how you play, not how much you spend!
Listening Activities

Use the bag for a fun listening activity that reinforces your work from that session:
     🎃 Describe one of the picture cards you used that session.
     🎃 See who can find the correct picture first to put in the bag.
     🎃 Therapy and clean up all in one!




Talk About It! Activities

👻 Place pictures of some work that needs review along with a Halloween photo in the bag. This is a great 5-minute warm-up to see what was retained from the previous sessions.
👻 Students take turns choosing a picture from the bag and telling about it.
👻 When the Halloween photo is chosen, discuss the picture, targeting each student’s current goal.
👻 Have copies of the picture already made to glue into the student’s communication book to talk about at home. Homework is taken care of!

Ideas for how to incorporate fun Halloween toys finds in your therapy sessions.
   Describe It! Play with it! Activities

    Place a few small Halloween toys inside the bag for your students to play with until their next turn. This is a great strategy for students who have transition problems or who have difficulty waiting, especially when you need a few minutes to concentrate on one of the other students in the group.

   The photo shows some examples of the types of toys that could be used.  Don’t put them all in at once.  Add a new toy, maybe every other session or so. You will see when your little ones get the language you’ve been modeling or start losing interest.

After they have explored the new toy, bring out some similar or familiar ones for a little describing and comparing/contrasting.  Did you notice there’s a variety of colors and textures there?

You’ll notice there are two felt ghosts there. One opens to be a puppet and the other is flat. One is small and one is big.  One is fuzzy (felt) and one is smooth (fabric.) One is happy and one is sad.

Fly the ghosts around in a fun way so your students want to request it.
Elicit some descriptive language by using sabotage, watching where the student is looking so that you are sure to give the unwanted one:
Oh, you didn’t want the little one? Maybe you wanted the BIG ghost. Tell me, which one do you want?” Just like that, you’ve set up a situation for describing!

Tips for fun, non-scary Halloween therapy sessions!
    Puppet Activities

      It’s easy to make felt into puppets. Just cut out a duplicate of the drawing you made for the bag, but close the top and leave an opening on the bottom that your hand will fit into!

      Puppets are a wonderful therapy tool for children! They let you adopt another voice, play games like giving and taking a toy, or interact in a way that feels less threatening to young children.


Sometimes young students who won’t talk to a speech therapist will speak to the puppet with no problems at all.  Puppets even give us the freedom to be a little silly in a way that might be uncomfortable otherwise (especially with a parent observing!)

Have fun working on facial expressions and vocabulary for emotions with a pumpkin theme!

     If crafting isn’t your thing, or you are looking for more detailed emotion images and problem-solving activities to support learning, click here. 

    This pumpkin-themed set can be used all fall to build social skills for emotions, facial expressions and problem-solving. The varied levels, with pictures, words and short scenarios, make working with mixed-level groups easier.



Enjoy!

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