Webinar replay Part 2– Questions answered about social emotional learning
What You Will Learn in this Webinar
Special needs social strategies
Questions covered include:
✅ How to encourage non-verbal children to make social connections
✅ Managing the transition from special school to mainstream
✅ Secondary school and young adult social strategies
✅ Students refusing to sit next to others
✅ Managing emotions in the playground
✅ Strategies for Oppositional Defiance Disorder in the classroom
✅ Counteracting negative self-talk
✅ Special needs social strategies
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Well, welcome everybody. This is a q and a that was after the free webinar. These questions come from my Neurodiversity network, which is a network of Ambassadors in schools who put up tip sheets information, help support our diverse students, and work together as a network to support each other through a Facebook page and through sharing my information.
And one of the things if you are part of my network is you get bonuses, which in term one included buy one ticket, get one free to my workshops or this term there’s been extra free time timers for the time timer giveaway. Or, in this case, you got to send in a question for a q and A as part of the webinar.
And I use those questions throughout the webinar. But also, at the end, I did a q and A for people who could stay on, and there are some great questions here. Everything from supporting children who are non-verbal or have limited communication to engage socially. How to help children who, you know, lie or dog how to help children.
Whether social scripts work for secondary making friends. Lots of great questions. So it is an hour podcast. So if you listen to last week’s that went an hour or two, I promise we’ll go back to our short format moving forward. But I think these are really interesting questions, and it was lovely to actually have people on live ask me questions.
So enjoy this episode, and yeah, I look forward to hearing how you found both these episodes. And hopefully, you’ll join me for the new three-hour social skills course, or social knowledge as I like to call it, where I’m gonna give you tips and strategies to support our diverse learners. I think the interesting thing with the webinar, I ask people, what did you learn?
You know, what was your top takeaway? And everyone’s top takeaway seems to be that we need to teach the skills directly and that the children don’t just pick up these skills by being part of the playground of Neurotypical children. Seem to work this out, but our Neurodiverse children need us to teach differently.
And as I said in the webinar, if children don’t learn the way we teach, maybe we need to teach the way they learn. And that is actually teaching social knowledge to diverse learners to help them understand. So hope you enjoy the q, and I hope you’ll join me for the Niro Diversity Network, and yeah, enjoy.
Hi everyone. Welcome to the Sue Lucky podcast. As I always say, you have to embrace difference to make a difference. Let’s dive into today’s podcast.
So you’re welcome to stay on. I am going to be now answering questions from my Neurodiversity network. So feel free to stay on if you want. But this was just for those people in the network. So I’ll let the people who log out are always inspirational. Thanks, Sandra. It was lovely to see you on. Ah, soup.
Don’t make me teary. I tell you, I got so nervous cuz it was a whole new speech, so Oh yeah. Webinar. So I always liked to practice things first with people. Let me just grab a few things. Thank you, Sue. Oh, great practice. Thank you. Oh, that’s so lovely. Thank you. I appreciate that. Oh, Ellen, you get a helper there.
Excellent. Okay, so I will just go back to everybody. I’ll let people leave who are leaving. Let me just move these things.
So I’m just gonna check if Georgia made it because. Some people said they’re happy to be spotlighted, so if they are, oh, Georgia. Yay. I’m pretty sure. Ah, perfect. Georgia, I’m gonna find you. Can you put your hand up, Georgia, and then I’ll be able to find you easier? Hello? Oh, hello. Where are you? Let me see.
I’m here. Oh, there you are. Amazing. Let me spotlight you. One sec. One sec. Okay. Awesome. Hello. Hello. Thank you so much for being part of the network. It’s just fabulous to see everybody. Now you have done so many of my courses, by the way, so I love you, Sue. It wasn’t nice. We get to chat. I love it. So you have a non-verbal boy who basically is having trouble managing emotions, making friends playing in the playground and doing group work.
You said everything is his challenge. But. He will turn conversations around to make him look like he’s been picked on. Can you give me sort of some more information? Sure. So he might he’s a bigger boy. Yeah. So he might say, oh, I’m chubby, or I’m fat, or something like that. And then the kids sort of play along with that and think, well, it’s all right because he said it.
So they start jumping in on it, and then he’ll come back to class, and he’ll say, they’re picking on me. Yes. And the children are confused because they haven’t actually initiated that conversation. A hundred per cent. I’ve seen this so many times with different things too. And sometimes, I’ll get called to school for bullying.
And it’s what you are talking about. They, that’s that social knowledge that he, he says may be to get their attention to start. Does it start like that? Yeah. That he wants their attention. No, I think that’s exactly it. He wants to be a part of it. The group. Yeah. But yeah. He doesn’t know actually how to be a part of that group.
Absolutely. And so then he says something, he gets their attention, and then they all start saying things, and then he processes that, and he is like, no, I don’t like that they’re being mean to me. Is that how it sort of happens? Yeah. Wow. Exactly like that. Yeah. Can I tell you really hard? Because one day it’ll be about being fat the next Does it change what he’s? Yes.
So, okay, so two things I have found in this experience. Sometimes I have to talk to my peers. Have you tried that? Like, have you talked to the other children? Even though he says that he’s just trying to be included? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. But they get it. Yeah. Like we’re, you know, a lot of them, these children have been together since they were in prep.
He’s now in grade five, so they know each other quite well. Yeah. And. So yes, but they’re still young themselves, so a hundred per cent Exactly. Yeah. So they get it. But yeah, and also, we have to remember all children are trying to fit in. Yes. They worry about their friendships deeply. And so he desperately wants to be part of the group.
The group wants to be cool. One kid says something, so he says something; they all think it’s funny, so they all pile in, and the next thing, then, he gets overwhelmed by that. So, yeah. Especially cause he’s not like he’s very much, he’s verbal, but he’s non-verbal. So to communicate in a way that could stand up for himself.
Like, oh, I’ve had enough now, and yes. You know, he can’t actually do that. Yeah. And I, although I must admit, I did have a win today. Oh good. He actually told me he hurt himself, which. He’s, I’ve had him on the ground, I’ve walked past him, and he just looks at me like nothing’s wrong. And it turns out he’s had a, you know, a major instant in his leg or whatever.
And today, he actually said to me, Mrs Gay, my leg hurts. And I was like, oh, leg. He was able to communicate that. Absolutely. I have really tried to invest in him with lots of conversations, like when I do duty quite a lot. So random conversations as I’m going around, like, how are you today? What hap you know, so I really I actually use my duties as a welcoming time for a lot of the kids, so I love that.
I love that. I love that. And I saw that you said that’s one of his things like that you let him know that he’s amazing and I understand him. I was wondering if Tony Atwood talks about creating a folder with successes to build this, like actually creating a folder of his good talents and the things he’s good at because he’s in year five and he the hormones are starting to come in, and I just wondered if he needed sort of a journal of his things he’s good at and maybe getting other teachers to write down things they like about him.
Cuz I think he, it’s not going in, you know, he needs it written down. So that was the suggestion I was gonna have because I feel like you’re doing everything, but I just wonder if he needs everyone to share, like his parents to share what they like about him, get his friends, those friends that he actually hangs out with because Oh, I love that.
Yeah. To build a good relationship, you have to have four positives to one negative. And I think what he’s getting caught up on is all the negative. Because he wants attention, but then when he gets it, it’s all negative, and he gets overwhelmed. So I thought maybe give that a try. That was my gonna be my Oh; I love it.
Love. I love it. Yeah, we’re good. Well, okay. Say we, me and my teacher. Yes. Okay. Well, give it a try. Of course. Email me if it doesn’t work. So now I’ve gotta work out how to un-spotlight you. Oh, hang on. Well, thank you very much, and Sue, I do love your work, and I tune in any time I can. So thank you very much. Oh, I app appreciate it; I can’t tell you how much that means to me.
Thank you so much. Thank you. Bye bye. Okay, then I have; I’m just gonna check if Katie is on here. Katie l Lisa Williams. Did you make it? You can unmute if you do. I’m just not sure if you did or if you’re up a different name. No, I can’t see Katie. Okay, so Katie’s question. how do I help students who engage in tatting and lying behaviour as part of the escalation profile?
And this is actually what happens when you are anxious. If you think of yourself, the more anxious you are, the more sensitive you are to other people. So, you know, it’s, if the, earlier we did the example, if someone pushes in the line, if you’re in a good mood, you are happy having a good day, someone pushes in, you’re like, oh, whatever.
Higher your anxiety, the lower your problem-solving
But if you’ve had three or four things go wrong and someone pushes in, you’re more likely to react, aren’t you? Nod your head if that makes sense. That, you know, so for many of my children, what happens is, the this Katie’s absolutely right that actually as she escalates, she starts dobbing. So actually, because the hi whoop, sorry, the higher your anxiety, the lower your problem-solving.
So those of you who have done my course will know that I am talking about that. It’s like, Two volume switches, a child’s anxiety goes up, and their problem-solving goes down. So therefore, slide has changed; if something goes wrong, they’re more likely to react to that. So this is why she starts dobbing or tatting in that situation.
So in my developing social skills book, oh, I was trying, oh yeah, sorry. I just got something stuck in my throat. I’ll probably talk for too long. I have in here like when to tell and when not to tell, but I suspect for her it’s actually about anxiety and that hypersensitivity. So I would be doing some of the things I just talked about, actually talking about when to tell and when not, like direct teaching.
Social scripts are very helpful, as are the video modelling
Social scripts are very helpful, as are the video modelling, but I suspect you’ve gotta look at getting the anxiety down as well. So when she’s feeling that way, maybe she needs to go to the toilet, get a drink, take a deep breath, and then think if it’s something she should be dobbing on. So I hope that makes sense.
Katie, I was hoping to talk to you a little bit more about it. So Rhonda, did you get on here? Rhonda? I don’t have a Ron. R o n d a. I’m not sure if you made it on. Let me just check. No, I don’t think so. Okay. So she wanted to know. Is there an equivalent practice to social stories for secondary school?
The student has ADHD and a s d extremely low receptive language. And I’m sorry, I’m just trying to quickly read it. And often unaware of his difficulty, and you’ve tried reflective practices and stories. So some of my students think social stories are baby-ish by the time they get to secondary.
So that’s why I wanted to check with you if it actually did work in the past and it’s worn out. So again, some of my children don’t like role-playing. I don’t know if you remember yourself in secondary role-playing. Just nod your head. It sort of gets a little bit more awkward in secondary. Kids don’t like to get up and role-play, whereas when they’re little, they love doing that.
So social stories can be harder in secondary and I. I think Carol Gray, who originally came up with social stories, would say they’re fine for secondary, but that isn’t my experience. I have students who don’t like a teacher assistant sitting with them either. But what I have found really helpful is engaging them in clubs outside school.
So, you know, dare say a chess club or. Scouts or actually getting them involved and making friendships and peers outside school where they can actually start to learn those things. Some of my children actually make some really good relationships through gaming if they do gaming online. And I wouldn’t discredit some of my secondary school students that it is a nice connection if they’re playing with the same people all the time.
So I wish I had you here to ask more questions but email me if you watched the replay and that didn’t answer your question. Now, Vanessa. Oh, Vanessa, you’re meant to be here live. But again, I don’t have a surname. Vanessa, who sent in a question? You can unmute. Oh, is it you, Vanessa Cartilage? I don’t know if it’s you.
There is a Vanessa on here, Vanessa, who wanted to know about Maning managing the transition from a special school option to mainstream for her twins. Not sure if she’s here. Ah, that is you. Ah, are you happy to still be spotlighted, Vanessa? Let me see. Yes. Let me try and find you. Can you unmute or put your hand up, Vanessa and then I’ll be able to find you.
I hope if you unmute, you should jump to That’s me. Sorry, I don’t know how to put my hand up. No. You’ve done it. You’ve done a great job there. Excellent. So let me spotlight you. Thank you. So well, thank you for being part of the neurodiversity network, cuz I know you’re a mom, and yeah, I hope the tips help you, but the idea is that teachers put it up on their pin boards in their schools and just try to get people to read the information.
So Yeah. And particularly for when you have twins, so they’re moving from specialist to mainstream school. Yes. Yeah. Special class to mainstream in the same school. But obviously, special classes, one-on-one SSOs, and they’re going to a class of 30 students with no sso. Yeah. And one teacher. Yeah. And I was that teacher who had a child with autism, my class, who desperately, you know, wanted to help him and didn’t have the time.
So I, I understand, and I understand that, yes, I understand. They don’t have the time and capacity, but yeah. What can we do? No, I agree. And this is why I’m very eclectic about which education option I’m interested in. Do you think it’s gonna work for both of them? The choice? I don’t think so. At the moment, they’re in separate special classes, but they’re gonna have to go together in the mainstream.
I think they won’t cope separately with that. Kind of environment, and there’ll be lots of issues about them being together, and they kind of egg each other on with behaviours. It’s a whole twin thing. A hundred per cent. No, a hundred per cent. Because I’ve had exactly this situation when I, so when I worked in a specialist school in Melbourne, my job was to take the children from that one to eight ratio with, you know, two teachers.
So really, three to eight to the mainstream. And I had a couple of twins that had one set of triplets that actually they weren’t already at the same time if that makes sense. So actually moving instead of moving both of them. I would wonder if it’d be better to settle one in first. What do you think? Whoa, I think I’ve lost your drafts.
I think your internet anyway. I think sometimes I think your Internet’s dropped out. Vanessa, sorry, what did you say? Yeah, sorry it was dropping out there, but that’s okay. Continue. No. Do you think it would be worth one of them going first, seeing how they go and then the second or best both? I’m not sure because they kind of wannabe to, cuz at the moment, they’re next door to each other.
Yeah, like opening the doorway policy. Yeah. Yes. I don’t think it would work. One going and one knot. No. So no, it’s not. I always trust your gut. Always trust your gut. I dunno, I don’t have all the answers, but I just wanted to check with you because I don’t really know either. No, sorry. But I get your worry and your anxiety.
So I was thinking to have a, on episode one 30 of my podcast, there’s a heap of cheat sheets that I actually devised when I was doing that, transitioning children from a special to mainstream school. Because so often, the reports aren’t helpful for the teachers, as you saw this afternoon. Okay.
They can cut with scissors. Yeah. But can they work with another child? How do they go in the playground? You know, how do they have separation anxiety in the morning? That’s what I wanna know as a teacher more than any of the other stuff. Yeah. So I’d love you to have a look at those cheat sheets and listen to the podcast.
But yeah, I normally do that at the end of the year. But you are transitioning now, so episode one 30 and then, and I would be doing the big one in that if you listen and make a huge difference to my students, is what I call reverse transition. Get the teacher to come and see them in the specialist classroom.
There’s no point. Your child is just going for visits to the classroom. They need to see what supports they’ve had in place, how that classroom looks. They, yes, a teacher learns so much. Like me, you could send me a hundred reports and give me half an hour in a classroom. I learn so much. So actually seeing if the teacher can get released to go and watch what’s happening.
Yes. How has the teacher aid time been used going and looking at each twin to see how they’re similar and different I recommend that as the number one thing that I would put in place. So hope that helps, and email me. That’s a great idea. Thank you. No. Let me know how it goes. Yes. Thank you so much. No pleasure.
Thank you for being on. I really appreciate it. Yeah. Fingers crossed. I agree. Baby steps. Okay. Baby steps progress, not perfection. Okay. Excellent. Thanks, Vanessa. Excellent. Okay. Now these people weren’t all gonna be on here. But there was; this one was Rebecca Watts. I don’t think you were gonna be on; she’s gonna watch the replay.
But Rebecca wanted to know how to encourage non-verbal children to play, to make social connections with their peers. And this is actually very similar to what I was just saying to, oh, sorry. With Vanessa, no, yeah, to Vanessa. So actually, what I’ve learned is actually bringing the peers to the child with what they’re playing.
So watch what the non-verbal child’s playing and start off with an adult, that direct teaching turn, taking, sharing, playing together. Then bring in a supportive peer rather than trying to take the diverse child to the neurotypical child. So I have actually learned it’s better doing that reverse play, working out what the child, so if this child loves the sandpit, teach the other children how to play in the sandpit.
Now again, when I was at the specialist school, sorry, I’m just looking for what I got out earlier. In. And I think this was an early years teacher. You might have my early years book. I recommend having a look in there. There’s some great information on teaching play and making it more visual. But there’s also play schedules.
And I did a lot of work with siblings actually when I was at the autism school because what we found, a lot of siblings actually go through grief. They imagine if they’re an older sibling, they imagine they’re gonna get this new little baby come to the house, and it’s gonna be a play buddy, and they can’t wait.
And then their child, the baby, is autistic and doesn’t play and do all the things that they expected their little brother or sister to do. So some of our children go through that normal grief cycle. They get very angry with the sibling; they get very frustrated. So I won’t spend hours going on about it, but nod your head if that makes sense.
So this child, imagine gender neurotypical sibling, and now they’ve got a neurodiverse sibling. And particularly if the child can’t talk, which is in this situation. So what. We actually did set up all these little play schedules, and you can get them on my website. They’re actually like a little cd. I don’t know if people can even download CDs anymore.
But we made them at the autism school, and they’re like a hundred different visuals, and what they can, you can actually teach the child a sequence of play, so make it more like a schedule. But we find then neurotypical children understand this play, and it helps them play together. And what we found is more spontaneous play came from that than just putting out the baby in the bath.
So actually, again, this is social knowledge. Teaching a diverse child how to bath the baby then means they can engage with their peers or their siblings. So I just wanted to mention that. The other thing I wanted to mention with nonverbal communication is, oh, where’s it going up? So, Lots of you had children who are nonverbal, and this book is a must-read.
Kate came on my podcast last year. If you’re not a reader, just follow Finding Cooper’s Voice on Facebook, finding Cooper’s voice. Kate is the most amazing writer. I have never sticky noted a book so much in my life. It’s the most amazing book. And I have worked with over 200 children who are non-verbal, not well, don’t communicate with words, say communicate, but just not with words, noises and gestures and other things.
And a lot of the books I read, I just can’t relate to them. But this book, every page, was like one of my students. So I think this is a must-read if you have a non-verbal child. This book is a massive insight into a lived experience of a family. And understanding working with non-verbal children, I would say it’s the number one book.
No, no problem. Belinda, I’ll thank you for joining us. I understand you need to leave. So that was Beck. I’ll try and go quicker cuz I know that you all had a long day. So, Sharon, you’ve worked in primary, and oh, you may be live. Sharon Watson, did you make it? If you did, just unmute, and I will find you.
Sharon was, no, she didn’t make it. Not to worry. Okay. So Sharon has a child who, with a friend again, non-verbal lashes out frustrated, tries to get attention. And tries to make friends. And this is a big misunderstanding, but I mean, sadly, we used to think if the children were non-verbal, they didn’t want connection.
They do, absolutely they do. And often, you’re right; they try and make friends and lash out. So the first thing I think this child needs to learn is to say finish. Sometimes my children don’t know how to leave a game or activity, and they lash out to finish it because when they lash out, people leave. So I was hoping to ask you if the child knew how to finish or to finish an activity cuz that is something we actually have to teach.
Autistic children a lot of them just keep repeating the activity over and dunno where it finishes. The other thing I think they need to learn is to get attention by tapping. Many non-verbal children do what we call autistic leading, which is where they grab people by the wrist and drag them and actually, many of our children haven’t learnt to tap to get attention.
So I would be teaching this child to tap because often that lashing out. It comes from that pulling. And again, I wanted to check with you and find out. And again, I would be teaching their peers activities they like and rotating who they play with. So making sure they don’t burn out their peers and rotating through those activities.
So I hope that helps. You’re already doing amazing things, by the way. I thought that you were already doing some great things. So Charlotte is managing emotions on the playground; hoping you got some ideas today cuz I wonder if it’s about winning and losing. We have Natalie managing emotions at break times away from the class, like in the playground.
Now, Natalie, this was an awesome question, and I absolutely loved all the things you were doing. Basically. You have your child managing their emotions really well during class because you are giving them lots of positive reinforcement. You are making sure that you are constantly praising; there are boundaries, all of these things in place.
But when they go out in the playground, none of that is in place. And you’ve tried to put it in place with a reward. But I suspect the problem is the executive functioning. That there’s all the sensory and noise and the anxiety and wanting to win and lose. And it doesn’t matter. The rewards probably don’t mean much to the child because it’s too hard.
So, a couple of things I thought one, try shortening how long they’re in the playground. I suspect they’re out there too long, so they can regulate their emotions for the first half of play. I did some research a number of years ago and found most behaviour happens in the second half of play. Cuz remember Bob the builder, can we fix it?
Yes, we can. But some of our breaks are too long for this child. So I’m wondering if actually, instead of making the reward once a week, 15 minutes in the playground, they can come in and have 10 minutes on the computer, then slowly build up, 20 minutes in the playground, 10 minutes on the computer. I would love you to try that, and let me know how it goes.
Next one, Alicia. How can teachers more effectively manage students’ Big emotions? So you are doing everything you are doing, going for a walk, getting a drink, breathing techniques, talking to the child about their emotions. So I call this 50-50 in my experience. All of these things are great, but if the child doesn’t understand their own emotions and manage their own emotions, one of the quotes you’ll see me put on Facebook is never in the history of calming down has anyone calmed down, being told to calm down.
What you are doing is putting on all these strategies to help the child calm. But they need to actually put them in themselves. They need to notice their emotions and manage their emotions. So really, that’s what my emotion and regulation course is about. What I call the 50-50, 50% is me, which is all the stuff you are doing.
But now we need the child to notice and manage their emotions because, my suspect, you don’t see them till the emotions are too big, and they need to put that in earlier. So I hope that makes sense. I know I’m talking really fast. Now now, I’m hoping I’m pronouncing your name correctly.
Gilman anyway. I apologize. A five-year-old with Ass D who refuses to sit next to somebody else. You can’t sit here; you can’t play. I read that and immediately thought it was sensory. And then I read your response, and you said that Mom says it’s based on looks and sensory a hundred per cent. And you’ve done my early childhood course, which would’ve given you lots of things.
But what are, remember in this early childhood course, I talk about sensory and sensory like having a spider or a snake. This child’s actually scared of those children, and we need to remember that they’re amygdala, particularly cause they are young. I assume them; I have five year old. Their amygdala is in fight or flight.
They genuinely are scared of that child. So that’s why they’re saying, you can’t play with me, you can’t be my friend. So unfortunately, I would think I’d need to talk to occupational therapists about helping that child desensitize to smells and the challenges because this is gonna keep happening. And again, sensory is like executive functioning.
You have to keep practising and working on it. So I hope that helps. But I was; I just love the fact that the mum identified as sensory cuz that would’ve been my experience too. Okay. Hiran, you wanted to know how to empower students to grow and nurture friendships with their peers. I have noticed a disconnect with eight students that struggle to engage with their peers.
Do I concentrate on social skills, interactions, and communication? I would focus on their interest. I would start by trying to find some connections. So if they love Lego, or they love dinosaurs, or they love Pokemon, I would look in the ebook about setting up some actual playground activities that bring those children together.
Cuz most of us make friendships around connections. If you think about when’s the last time you made a friend? It was over a connection. I went for a walk at lunchtime today, and I saw the gardening club down in Art Tarman, where I live. And there were all these, you know, 20 people down there that were connecting over the gardening.
So that is a social, and I personally love doing gardening in schools cuz you can do that for the rest of your life. Pokemon come and go, but gardening is a lifelong thing. You can join a local gardening club. Now this was interesting. Hillary wanted to know about empathy. I would read about that theory of mind in my ebook.
And I did mention that during the webinar too. Karen, you have, oh, sorry, you wanted to be anonymous. Kay. Sorry. There are a lot of Karens; I’m hoping that’s anonymous. Sorry. You wanted to know about separation anxiety. Have a listen. You’ve been sitting with them, helping them put their feelings into Word.
I think these are all great distractions. You’ve been doing lots of great things, but episode 1 41 of my podcast has so many great ideas from parents. Some children want to know who’s picking them up. At the end of the day, some children wanna keep something little from their parents from their day.
So you have a list, have a read and a look at that podcast. There are some great ideas. The next one was Stephanie. What strategies can I use to help manage the behaviour and emotions of one of my students in the class? Every time we try something, it only works for a short amount of time. Yeah, and this is what I was saying earlier, that strategies wear out, but I, look, I even put a little love heart on there for you cuz you are trying so many amazing things for your student.
I just wonder if they’re oppositional defiant disorder. Just the fact that things are wearing out. And when I look at everything you’ve tried, again, I wonder if all of these are adult-directed, not internally directed. So I always say, if Andrew told me to sit out and have a cup of tea, I would get really cranky about that.
But if I say I need a cup of tea, I need a little bit of downtime. So I would just wonder if we actually need to give him a little bit of control too. And that’s why I created this, this wheel of calm that I use for my O D children that for many of my children, actually them choosing what they’re going to do.
And what you can do is Velcro it. The other thing I was thinking about with him was why I had this one. I just wonder if he knows how to ask for help. Because some of my students with big emotions, they get really frustrated, and I just wonder if he knows how to ask for help or if he’s just like, something goes wrong, boom.
You nose is climbing on the furniture, throwing things. So again, in my emotional regulation course, There is heaps of stuff about changing your mindset, about having a go if you make mistakes, cuz that might be a problem for him about asking for help. What to do if you don’t, you know, don’t know what to do.
Cuz some of my students, as soon as they don’t know what to do, boom. You get those big emotions, and remember, you gotta keep practising that executive functioning. Really work on it. Okay, now Carolyn asked, is there a preferred program to base learning on trying to make it easy for staff to access resources?
Now, I love all the things you’re doing. You’re done. You did the right resilience and respect. You did Helen McGraw’s; you did bounce back; you did healthy relationships; you did all these great programs. My guess is they work for some students and not all students. Now I haven’t checked what all those programs are, but I suspect these are designed for neurotypical children, not neurodiverse children.
What I’ve found over the years, so many of these programs are not the things I’ve talked about today. Taking the child, working directly with them, they’re just meant to work it out in the playground. So I would love you to have a look at the new social skills course and emotional regulation course that I’ve got out because they’re designed for diverse children, and I think so often we need to actually use programs that use that lived experience in the course.
I have Dean Beetle talk about a lot of things, but also I actually did this as a pilot course, my new developing social skills course as a pilot program last year with over 200 teachers in Catholic schools. And what was interesting, what the teacher said, and I printed this out because after reading your question, learning different strategies to use with Neurodiverse students who are struggling socially, great games and activities, Practical, useful, effective teaching activities, getting a deeper insight on ways to support diverse students, small but effective strategies, but also supports all the students.
And that’s what I’ve learned over the years. Often the strategies that work for the diverse students work for the whole class, but the strategies that work for the neurotypical students don’t work for my diverse students. And what one of the teachers loved is I really do deep dive into the stages of play and understanding where that child’s at.
Because often, we jump straight into collaborative classrooms where they’re meant to sit at a table with five other children. And this child’s only been in a parallel play where they’ve only been playing alongside children, or we send children out to the playground, and they’re playing all these complex games, and this child’s only at the friendship stage of greeting or saying hello.
So that’s what one of the sta teachers’ feedback was that they really like going back and really looking at the friendships and stages of the play. So I felt really weird that someone actually asked about the courses. That’s why I put that or what to recommend. So I hope you’ve all found this super helpful because you’ve all stayed on, even though I said I was only gonna do questions from my diverse community.
If any of you have a couple of quick questions, I’m more than happy cuz you’re amazing to have stayed on. So just put your hand up. You can put your hand up, and I’ll spotlight you if you have a question, or you can write it in the chat, anybody. Oh, Sue Bolton, look at you. Okay, let me spotlight you, Sue.
Oh, hang on. Oh, where did you go? Oh, I went to click on you. Put your hand up again, Sue. Sorry. I went to spotlight you, and you disappeared. Hang on one sec. I love Zoom when I get, oh, here she is. Hello. Hey, now let me spotlight you so everyone can see you, but don’t worry, it won’t be filmed. Hello? Look, I’ve got a new class this year.
They’re an IM class, but the girls have a lot of issues emotionally with each other, and they’re doing, they’re, some of them being pulled out for mentoring and I just dunno if the mentoring is actually what we really want. I dunno what’s going on in that. But I really liked your today with the body when They how they feel when the; they’re noisy because the boys are getting jack of it.
The Yeah. They hate it. They hate the noise. And I play Mozart to calm them down. I love it. And keep the things. So I’m doing all of these things, and they’re actually getting loving Mos up now. Oh, they didn’t like it at the beginning, and they’re loving it now. It’s that repetitiveness, isn’t it? Yeah. I love that.
And it’s that tranquil calmness. But my question is, I won, you gave me the course. Free course the universe provides. You’re the perfect person to get the course. Thank you. So my question is, should I be looking at doing your social skills course or the emotional regulation? Yeah. So with the girls, is it about having friends and maintaining friends?
Or is it about managing their emotions? I think it’s both of us. Yeah. So, and that’s why the courses sort of go together. Do you know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna give you both courses because, Oh, thank you. I know they’re both gonna make the world a because I suspect, and again, this is credit card classrooms is about the stuff you are talking about, like creating, it’s gotta be the social and the emotional.
And you’ll use this for years in an I am class. Yeah. I know that it won’t just be used once off with this group. But with the girls, I, I mean for the boys too, but what I find with the girls, they just catastrophize friendships and emotions and they yell at each other. Yes. And you know I don’t wanna be stereotyped, but my experience is because of that executive functioning, the emotions come on from nowhere, and then they overreact to everyone.
Then the sensory gets hit off. And I’ve had like an IM class. Then they all bounce off each other. It doesn’t matter how much Mozart I’m playing game over. So Sue let Andrew know that I said you can have both courses cuz I think it’ll be perfect for you. Okay. So amazing. Okay, so it’s your social and emotional course.
Yeah. Yeah. So I think so what it is, I’ll just show you here. So the emotional regulation course basically will give you all these; let me go back to the visual. The emotional regulation course has all that, all those activities that you can print out and do with the whole class, and you can work out which ones work for which kids.
The social skills course is really taking my developing social skills book, and yeah, plus a whole of lived experience and stuff and sort of nutting out how we teach social skills. So it’s more the greetings, friendships, but you’ve gotta have the emotion as well. Yeah. So that’s why it sort of goes together to create.
The two, too, cuz I had the emotional regulation course, but everyone was saying what I wanted next was the social skills course. So that’s why they sort of go together. So. Excellent. Thank you, Sue. So I’m gonna move. It’s okay. It’s been a pleasure. Oh, thank you for staying on. I’m conscious you’ve had a long time.
I’m very conscious of everyone’s time. No. It’s worth it. It’s worth every bit of my extra time to sit here and listen to you. Oh, you’re such a vessel of wisdom. Oh, thank you. Re, I can’t tell you how much that means to me cuz sometimes, I just get in my head too much. Don’t we all? Don’t we all?
Thank you so much. Okay. Tanya, let me try and spotlight you. Oh. I love the fact you’re all prepared to stop. Hello. You’re in the. Yeah, I’ve had a few things to do this afternoon, so I’ve been a bit busy. I love it. This is great. This is like listening to a podcast for a webinar. So thank you for fitting me in and your busy afternoon.
How can I help? I can, I’m at a school where we’ve got a grade three boy who is a D, H, D and a s d, and he has an excessive amount of negative talk, negative self-talk. So we’ve been highlighting what he is good at. We’ve been, you know, working with all of the positives and all of the skills, but the negative self-talk is quite extensive, and I’m just wondering if there are any tips on how we can counteract them.
Yeah. So what happens socially and emotionally, children from up till year two, so seven, eight years of age, everyone’s your friend, you can just go and be friends with everyone. Yeah. Children are far more flexible. Halfway through sort of year two and sort of seven-ish. This peer group shrinks, and the peer group becomes a lot more discerning, if that makes sense.
And often, this is when I get a lot of negative talk from my children. They pick up that they’re not being included. There’s often, the other children aren’t mean to, but they’re often subtly excluding him. And then again, you get that catastrophizing. Does that make sense for what you’ve seen with him, or has it been going on for years?
No, it definitely makes sense. I’m new to the school this year, so I’ve only had a few months with him. Yeah. But I believe it did start a little bit towards the l late last year, but prior to that, I don’t believe it was as dramatic as it is now. Yeah. So, I know this sounds crazy, but what we’re gonna do, we’re actually gonna take him; which state are you in?
At Queensland. At Queensland. So you call it prep. The first year at school prep. Is it prep? Yeah. Correct. Yeah. Yeah. So what I find to build up the self-esteem, actually, we’re gonna make him some friends in prep in year one, where he might go down and help with a reading group or an activity to build up his self-esteem.
Where he gets to be the leader for once, where he gets to be the positive role model, where he gets to, not with adults, he wants interaction with his peers, but he’s sort of a socially, emotionally younger. Does that make sense? So he finds it hard to connect with his peers. You guys can say all you like, but he needs to hear it from other children.
So what I have found, I had a little boy who used to go down and help with reading cuz he was a good reader. I’ve had children go down and just help with craft or sort of be, you know, like just half an hour a day where he gets to do jobs, but the jobs are with peers, not for you guys; they’re with his peers and helping him create those connections.
I would also ask what does he like? What does he love? Oh, dinosaurs. Yeah. So see, five-year-olds like dinosaurs; eight-year-olds have moved on. So I would be looking at setting up a dinosaur club and trying to connect him with other children who like dinosaurs because that’s gonna make him feel better. His peers have probably all moved on from dinosaurs, so it might be a dinosaur club on Mondays and Wednesdays where he can bring in dinosaurs, talk about dinosaurs connect.
This is gonna build his self-esteem more than anything you say to him. Oh, fantastic. Does that make sense? Thank you so much. No, my pleasure. Yeah. Thank you. No, an absolute pleasure. Brilliant. Yeah, but let me know how it goes, but actually, like, just really, and he might move on from Dynas; it might be something else, but just really build up around what he’s good at.
And then get him to model that with his peers. So give it a go. Thank you for joining in on your busy afternoon, and take care. Hopefully, we’ll meet in person soon. All right. Thanks so much. I’ll see you in July on June 16th. Oh, brilliant. See you then. Excellent, now. Okay. Bye-Bye. Bye. Tanya. Oh no, that was Tanya Charlan.
Have I said your name correctly there? Yes. Well done. Oh, thank you. It’s so tiny on my screen. That’s a bit of my issue when I Yeah, cuz I’ve got all the faces, so it’s like, yeah. I think I need a new script. Yeah, we all do. Yeah. How can I help? Hey, I’m coming at this from a teacher’s point of view in a school with neuro, there’s children, but then I’ve also got a child that’s like diagnosed.
Yeah. Who’s 15? I’ve always known, of course, we had the ADHD, the sensory that’s stria, all of it. Just today, we got the s D diagnosis. How are you feeling? I’m emotional, but I’m relieved. Yeah. Okay, good. Yeah. Good. It is just as explained. Yeah. One of the interesting things Kate said to me, this mum, she said, I always knew and I was relieved to get the diagnosis, but saying it out loud is different to knowing.
Do you know what I mean? So you are actually saying that now, give yourself permission to have those emotions because I think there’s a difference between, okay, I’m relieved. I knew this was coming, but actually saying it is it’s a hard one. So thank you for sharing. I’ve always said I think he is. Yeah, I’m sure he’s, I’m sure he is, but now I do know he is.
Yeah. Yeah. My question, though, is that, you know, in my classroom and my school, there are certain requirements that the children need to match, and the children meet those because. That’s expected in a school situation at home; it’s so different. A hundred per cent. A hundred per cent. And all of us are different at home, at school.
I, I always, my mum, it’s funny, my mum’s been up last week and I was telling her I’m getting, putting this course and the webinar, and I was a bit busy and trying to get organized. And she told me this story; it was so funny. She said I remember when my brother was like, in year one, mum was walking through the playground, and he was swearing, and she’s like, at home that night.
She’s like, what? What was that language? She goes, oh, I speak two languages. I speak one language at school. One language at home. Absolutely. So we’re all different from home to school, don’t we? Like all of us, like, you know, I can assure you I get a lot angrier at home than I ever would at a workshop do, you know?
So I think, right? Yeah. And it’s not like I wanna lower my expectations at home, but there’s still expectations that I know. What is he gonna be capable of? And we’ve got a full refusal, and we’ve got, you know, we’re, I’m in New Zealand. Yeah. And he’s not going yet. Cause n c this year and year 11. Yeah. Yeah.
And I’m gutted. Yeah. As a parent and as a teacher. Of course. Of course. And look, high school, having worked in autism for over 30 years; high school is the hardest year for our students. Socially, emotionally, and academically. Post school, you don’t have the social demands. You can choose to do what activities.
You hopefully go on and do something that’s of interest to you. Whereas at school, every day he has to do things that are subjects he’s not interested in. He’s having to deal with teenagers. Teenagers are hard. You know, like, so it, it is really hard. What I don’t, so then I don’t lose him. I know I. It’s so hard.
Keep going. But you know the most important thing, don’t ruin your relationship with him. The most important thing is that you are his cheerleader, and he needs to know that you can’t be his teacher at home. Does that, yeah? Take off that hat. Just be his supportive mom who will go to bat for him and do whatever he needs.
Yes. Because then he, that will build him into a strong, confident young man, and it’ll give him the space he might need at home to have that downtime. So Dean Beetle, who I’ve got talking on the social skills course, he talks about, you know, some kids come home and they need videoing, particularly in the teen years because they’re so emotionally exhausted, they haven’t got the capacity.
So give him That’s exactly, yeah. So I think, and he said at uni he had five friends. Let’s just crack me up. He says this in the course, he had five friends, and he was happy. Five birthday parties a year. That was it. But then they all got partners, and he was expected to go to 10 birthday parties and then had children, and he’s like, Nah, I’m out.
I’m happy with five birthday parties a year. That’s my capacity. So work out his capacity. I haven’t got it up here cuz I sort of laid it out, but in the Essential Guide to Secondary School, Anna Talman and I have got some great strategies in there, and you can get it as a digital book over there.
Okay. But one of the things, and you can Google this, that helped her son Daniel is the spoons theory, like teaching him about when he is run outta spoons. Okay? It’s a visual concept for him to go. Mom, I’m at six spoons. And so Daniel would come home from school and go, Mom, I’m at three spoons. I’ve got the capacity to sit with the family and have dinner.
Or I’m at six spoons; I just need to go to my room and video. Yeah. Now Daniel lives in America, sought after by computer gaming. You know, the amazing success story, if you call that success, you know, like I don’t like to judge, but for Anna, in her teenage suspended, expelled, moved schools, incredibly stressful time for them.
So yeah. Okay. So, all right, thanks. When are you coming to New Zealand? I’m hoping soon. I know I’m still catching up on all the workshops booked for pre covid. It’s just insane. Can you believe I’m still ca this time? Last year I still couldn’t do face-to-face cuz, you know, so I’m still catching up.
I’ll get there. I won. Okay, well I love coming and thank you and good luck and thank you for your question and be kind to yourself. You can’t support him unless you feel good at, you know, you look after number one. Thank you. Okay. Take care. Okay, no problem. Thanks. Okay, I’ll, I’m conscious of time, Margaret, you’ll be my last one.
Let me spotlight you. Oh, why isn’t it? Why haven’t you? Oh, there we are. Hello, Margaret. Oh, hello. Hello. I am LSO or E ESS in a primary school working in a prep room. And I’ve only had experience in OD in older kids now in a prep room; little girl, five, very strong, has her parents worried about her and not being able to control her at home.
And then has come, hasn’t really got the full diagnosis, but looking at her, you know, you said black, she’s white. You know, it’s very different. The other kids in the class are getting a bit. Like, I could even say a little bit scared of her because of her. Yeah. Really tantrums full on, and you know, it’s all and screaming, and I hate boys, and I hate school and Yes.
And very difficult to separate from parents in the morning, even though she’s giving them a hard time at home. I know. This is our OD d. Yeah. Just looking at any strategies that you might have. Cause yeah, the number one thing with OD kids I then giving them control. So I would actually, the big one is that the night afternoon before, letting her choose what she’s gonna do when she comes in, first thing in the morning for separation anxiety.
That’s really important for my oppositional children. Now you might give her a choice of two activities she can do in the morning, but again that might seem like a demand, but choose something she can come in cuz we’ve gotta get that anxiety dialled down. And so the only way to do that’s to start the day calmly.
If she comes in four out of, you know, five, six spoons up, then the slightest thing will set her off. So I needed to come in as calm as possible in the morning. And the way to do that is for her to feel like there are no demands on her. So she doesn’t have to line up and she doesn’t have to unpack her bag. I mean, routines are your friend because as soon as there’s a routine, there’s no demand.
Does that make sense? So if you think of yourself once you’re in a routine, you know, get the car keys, get your bag, whatever. But if your car keys are missing, then the frustration, right? So the more routines you can have in place for her, the better I would be setting up with her peers that it may be the night before, or maybe she can choose who she works with, but for half an hour at a time.
So when I had an OD child, we called it an appointment. Who did? Who did he have an appointment with? Because of what happens, the other children do get scared. And we need to make sure that they just have a little bit of time each day. Because many of my OD PDAs, she might be Peter, they attached to one child or two children and burned those children out.
So if you’re in a class of 30 kids, they only might work with her once or twice a week. That’s fine. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I would just routines work out what she’s gonna do the day before if possible. Yeah. Just try and get that anx anxiety down as much as possible. The other thing I like to do with O D children is normally have the word tomorrow, a tomorrow box.
So if she doesn’t wanna do something, okay, we’re gonna leave it for tomorrow. Many, you know, we all get to opt-out. They’re thinking, oh, look at your pussy. My cat normally joins me for the webinar, but my daughter’s home. And so she’s with her and. So what I find with my oppositional children is often giving them the option to do something tomorrow because as soon as they feel a demand, they’re gonna push off.
Yes. So we’ll leave that for tomorrow. What you’re, so then the next day it’s giving them time to process. They’re gonna do it. Does that make sense? But giving them control. So letting her know there is an out, there is an option of a, I don’t wanna do that today. Okay. And if she puts everything in the tomorrow box, well, well, we need to do something today.
Let’s go back and re-look at it. Because she might. The first few times. No, tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Okay. Let’s skip. So just looking at those things. Also, the key, I know this sounds ridiculous, but one of the demands, o d children feel toilet, food and drink. They actually feel like, oh, that, that can make ’em really grumpy.
They need toilet food or drink cuz their body’s demanding something of them. So you need to make that a routine. Have the schedule, toilet, food, drink, and you need to explain to her what she needs, like, your body wants you to go three times a day because some people with o D won’t even cough or sneeze cuz they feel like their body’s demanding that of them.
It’s, so, it’s it’s, the more I read about it, the harder it gets to know what to do. If that makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. It’s amazing. I know. It’s amazing. So so, yeah, so what you might find, she’s not eating, she’s not drinking and not using the toilet. So I always call them, like, you know, the hygiene, the important things to check because she might be holding for the toilet all day.
Think how that would impact on your anxiety or if you have had nothing to eat or drink. So I would be checking with the parents if she has breakfast. Yeah. We’ve had a big thing with her food, so they wanted us to heat up her food during the day cause she’s not eating. So that all makes a lot of sense, what you’ve just said.
That is so funny. I mean, sometimes I feel like, how did I predict that? But yeah, so they’re not eating. So with the not eating, again, let her choose the date, but I’m the one Anna Talman with Daniel caught it. Real choices. So she’d say to him, are you gonna eat dinner at four o’clock or five o’clock?
Does that, so say to her, are you gonna have lunch at 12 or 1230? Are you gonna ha, again, I’d be putting on the timer if she chooses 1230? Okay, that’s in half an hour. So you’re still giving her a choice. So she, you’re not telling us she has to, so when are we gonna, when are we gonna heat your food in 20 minutes or 40 minutes?
You know, give her control over when she eats. But not, eating’s, not a choice. It’s not. Are you gonna eat your lunch? It’s when are you gonna eat your lunch? Yeah. Yeah. And just beautiful. And does avoid words. Could wood and can cuz they’re options. Would you like to do your work? No. Can you eat your lunch?
No. Do you need the toilet? No. Can you, so it’s like, do you want the toilet before recess or after recess? So just make them clear. Oh, I’ve blown someone’s mind. Sorry. In a good way. I just wanna thank you all for staying on. You’re amazing. I mean, it’s. It blows my mind that you’ll stay on. Thank you for asking about o D D.
That’s so interesting. And look, I’m still learning. Every child teaches me something new, so yeah. Thank you. Okay, thank you so much, everybody. I’m going to finish off there. Have a lovely evening, and I just can’t thank you enough. It’s just been so lovely to have you all on and to stay on for the question time, so thank you.
Thank you. Absolute pleasure. Thank you, everybody. If you have questions and you don’t get to ask them, just email me. I love hearing from you, so I really appreciate that. Gosh, a lot of you stayed on. I hope you’ve all got some easy dinners planned. And Kiara to all of you in New Zealand, probably going off to bed now.
Thanks, Ellen. Send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you. I hope you’ve got some great tips and strategies to make a difference. Remember, strategies wear out, and not every strategy works for everybody. If you’re ready to dive deeper into more strategies and ideas to make a difference, I’d highly recommend you consider Dr.
Tony Atwood or my online courses. For more information, visit my website, www.suelarkey.com.au.