Thursday, August 15, 2013

{Review} Thinking About You, Thinking About Me

Social language is one of my favorite areas to target, and I love gaining more knowledge in this area.  Thinking About You, Thinking About Me by Michelle Garcia Winner certainly delivers in the information department with a wealth of new and interesting ways to look at this topic.

This book is a great place to start in your understanding of perspective taking and social thinking, whether you're new to working on social interaction and social awareness, or whether you need a refresher in the area.  Understanding that people have perspectives other than their own is a difficult skill for students with high-functioning autism, Asperger syndrome, and ADHD to master.

Since this book has SO much information, I've decided to highlight some of my favorite aspects of this fantastic resource.

One of the sections of the book that I found particularly interesting was the spectrum of perspective taking deficits.  Three different levels are described here including:

- Severely Impaired Perspective Taker
- Emerging Perspective Taker
- Impaired Interactive Perspective Taker

Each level includes 11-18 symptoms, a prognosis for the perspective taker, as well as effective teaching strategies when working with the student.  I found that as I read the symptoms of each perspective taker, I found myself recalling specific students on my caseload and thinking of how well each of them fit the various descriptions and levels.  I also feel that I have a much better understanding of how to work with my students who have impairments in perspective taking, and that I also have new strategies to suggest to teachers for each one of them.

Included in chapter two is an extended discussion of "thinking about how others affect you" and "others thinking about you".  This section presents additional information in each of these areas, as well as logical deficits that would be present if a child lacked these skills.

Next, is a section about the four steps to communication, including:

1) Thinking about people: anchoring your thoughts on your communicative partner(s).
2) Being ware of your physical presence as well as the physical presence of your communicative partner(s).
3) Using your eyes to think about others and watch what they are thinking about.
4) Using your language to relate to others.

I love the figures, tables, and handouts that make teaching these concepts to students at a variety of levels really easy.  The figures include child friendly language and can easily be integrated into therapy sessions.

One of my favorite concepts by Michelle Garcia Winner is the idea of "expected vs. unexpected behaviors".  The pages below include a chart for both expected and unexpected behaviors, as well as how they make others feel, consequences you experience, and how you feel about yourself.  This guide is one that I feel I will be using often this year to discuss behaviors in the classroom, hall, lunchroom, outside at recess, at what our district calls "specials" - art, gym, music, at home, etc.

You can find out more about social thinking HERE.  (I really suggest that you do if you have a few minutes.  Personally, I find it so logical and easy to understand.)

You can find this extremely informative and useful resource for social interaction and social awareness for $48 HERE.

Disclaimer: This product was given to me for review.  No other compensation was provided.  The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

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