Those that follow me on Facebook know how nervous I have been about Jay starting middle school. Part of my neurosis comes from the fact that I just don’t think he is socially ready. Academically… no problem, but can he handle all the situations that will be thrown his way?And what can I do as his mother to give him the tools to do so? These questions have been keeping me up at night.That is why I was so excited when Social Thinking gave me the opportunity to try out this new game created by Dominque Baudry,MS, Ed and based on the Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary introduced by Michelle Garcia Winner as outlined in her many books and articles on the topic.The game is designed to give pre-teens and teens a fun and motivating way to improve their social sense, practice taking the perspectives of others, and discuss relevant teen issues in a nonjudgmental setting. Sounds interesting doesn’t it?
Well folks it is not only interesting… it is fantastic. The box arrived right before we were about to depart on our 17 hour drive to Florida for vacation. I threw it in the car thinking that if nothing else it would pass a little bit of time. What it did was open up the door to some awesome conversations. It really gave me a realistic idea as to where we stand with my boy. I learned that my Jay does understand the idea of perspective taking – being able to think about others, their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and how this interrelationship plays out in social situations. It’s just that when he gets upset or frustrated, he sometimes is unable to remember where he filed this information so to speak. This game not only helped him with his self esteem you should see how proud he was every time he got a question right, it was a way for us to review what we need to go over more so that when he is faced with these situations… which we all know he will be… even if he is frustrated or upset, he will be able to recall what to do.
The best part about the game is the Behavior Scale that is used to play it. The behavior scale included in this Middle/High School edition has a five point format and was inspired by the work of Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis and their book, The Incredible 5 Point Scale (2003).
5 -Behaviors that are against the rules
4- Behaviors that make others feel annoyed
3 -Behaviors that make others have weird thoughts about you
2- Behaviors that are fine or okay
1- Behaviors that make others have good thoughts about you
Players take turns picking a card which provides a situation and behavior such as:
“You decide you already know what your history teacher is talking about. You pull out a different book and begin to read.”
Then each player votes as to what they believe this behavior is,based on the scale. I was thrilled and yes perhaps shocked to hear Jay say, “Wow mom I have done this before. To the teacher I am sure this was a 4. I must have really frustrated her when I did that.” Do you see what I mean about this being an awesome game!!!He got it folks… he really got it!
In fact the behavior Scale made so much sense to Jay after playing this game a couple of times, that he suggested (YES YOU READ CORRECTLY… HE SUGGESTED) we tell all his teachers about it so they could use it with him in middle school. They could just walk over to him and say ,”Jay number 3″ when he is flapping in excitement or perhaps talking out loud to himself or whatever behavior that could be perceived by other 6th grade kids as odd or that word we all dread hearing… WEIRD. It would cause Jay to stop, think about what he is doing that could seem WEIRD to other students and then try to correct that behavior on his own. HELLO… isn’t that what we are shooting for folks! I told you this is awesome!!!
I could go on and on and on telling you how great this game is… or I can just direct you to go visit the Social Thinking website and order this game yourself! It will be the best $22 you spend!Better yet…
the wonderful folks at Social Thinking have given me a separate NEW game to give away to one of you folks!
How incredible is that? I know pretty incredible! And all you gotta do to win is leave a comment below with your name saying you want to enter to win. Easy peazy lemon squeezy!
Want even more chances to win this game? Do the following and then come back here to this post and leave a separate comment saying you did!
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***Tweet the following message: Enter to win the @mamasturnnow @socialthinking Should I or Shouldn’t I giveaway. Great game for Aspie kids ages 12-18 http://wp.me/p1pu3Q-jl
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One winner will be chosen from the comments left below by Random.org. Contest ends Midnight EST on Tuesday August 21st, 2012.
DISCLOSURE: Social Thinking has provided me with a copy of Should I or Shouldn’t I for purposes of providing a review. I received the game at no charge to me and I am under no obligation to return the product but can keep it for me own personal use. I was not given any monetary amount to review this product. Opinions expressed in this review are my own honest ones and I stand behind them. As with any product, I encourage you to research on your own and then make your own decisions.