In previous posts I have given strategies that I find to be helpful for speaking up for yourself and getting along with other people. This post will address something else that is very important ~ getting along with yourself. We all have thoughts and feelings swirling around inside us all the time. Your thoughts are very powerful and can make you feel better or worse. You can try to overcome powerful negative thoughts by using positive self-talk.
Our thoughts and feelings are connected and they affect each other. Positive self-talk is like a silent “pep talk”. In his book, Speak Up and Get Along!, author Scott Cooper tells us that “some unhappy feelings can clog up your life, making it harder to get things done or making you feel worse than you really should”. We can try to change those feelings by changing our thoughts.
Here are some resources that I find helpful for the Lunch Buddies:
Teasing and bullying social skills kit for kids with ASD is a free download at http://autismteachingstrategies.com. It consists of illustrated panels, like the one below, and “what to do?” and “what to think?” scenarios.
Julia Cook has given us so many wonderful books for just about any social situation that students face. The Lunch Buddies like Tease Monster and Bully Beans. We also like The Juice Box Bully Empowering Kids to Stand Up for Others by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy.
In the World of Ryuu, dragons learn to Triumph over Teasing (Builder) when they are Overcome by Teasing (Destructor). This game is one of the best purchases that I have made ever. Kids love it and the concepts stick! Find more information about Ryuu-The Game® at http://www.autismteachingstrategies.com.
The Sunshine Game by Tina Fowler is a game to help students respond to teasing and learn to avoid internalizing negative comments so that their self-esteem remains intact. Find it at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com
The strategy today for the Toolbox is The Thought Chop.
When our negative thoughts start to make us feel more sadness, fear, or anger and we start to be too hard on ourselves, we can use The Thought Chop to talk back. An example of The Thought Chop would be: You are not invited to a party that other kids are invited to and you think, “Nobody likes me. I’m a loser”. Use positive self-talk or The Thought Chop by say, “I’ll be invited to other parties” or ” it would have been fun, but it’s their loss”.
Find more strategies like The Thought Chop in Scott Cooper’s book Speak Up and Get Along!