Our second presentation of the day was by Jill Kuzma entitled “Try to See it My Way”: Supporting Social Understanding in School-Age Learners. I really enjoyed this presentation and came away from it with a lot of useful strategies and resources. One strategy I want to try is called STOP and Read the Room. This strategy was developed by Sarah Ward and cited in Kuzma’s PowerPoint. STOP stands for Space, Time, Objects, People. For students with autism it can be a useful tool to help them gauge what is happening in a room and how they should behave as they enter the group. I believe it can also be useful for my students and my thought is that I will post the prompts by the outside of my classroom for students returning from speech, OT, mainstreaming or even using the bathroom. For each step there are prompts to assess the scene. Stop: What part of the classroom are the kid in right now? Time: What is happening right now? Objects: What objects and tools do I need? People: Look at the kids. How should you act?
Another strategy Kuzma discussed was, “Sketch the Scene”. This tool is used to help students with perspective taking by using talking and thinking bubbles in a drawing to identify one’s own thoughts as well as the thoughts of others in a situation. Here’s an example of a scene we sketched in our breakout group later:
Overall Jill Kuzma provided some amazing resources that I am excited to use and I believe many can be found on her blog that I linked to above. I want to use more of the videos, clips, and visual supports to work with my students more on identifying their own thoughts and feelings while also beginning to recognize the thoughts and feelings of others. I will take some time this summer to go through these resources and think about when and how to use them this year.