Visual Organizers for Perspective and Situational Problem Solving
One of the greatest challenges for students with social cognitive deficits is the ability to take perspective. Therapeutically, concrete instruction for students in this area is a priority. In order to be successful in social situations students not only need to be aware of their own thoughts, feelings, and motivation behind their actions; they also need to be sensitive to the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others. Typically this ability is acquired through the natural process of social exchange, but for individuals with social language difficulties this is often not the case. Considering the thoughts and needs of others, as well as recognizing that other people think about them, is often problematic. The organizers in this section provide explicit opportunities to understand concepts such as perspective (SR 70) and point of view (SR 71). Visual organizers provide cues for self-questioning that guide students through the process of recognizing their own perspective, others’ perspective, and multiple perspectives within observed situations (SR-72a-78). With improved ability to make accurate observations, students are better equipped to make inferences or draw conclusions about their perspectives and others’ point of view. The process of recording information on a visual framework can again provide for extensive reflection and assist students in making connections about the feelings behind observable behaviors, particularly when behaviors reoccur within a variety of settings/situations. The more accurately students can use their language to reason and identify underlying emotions that motivate their actions, the more likely they will able to discuss their behavior patterns and determine how their behavior can influence outcomes. When students begin to see predictable patterns of behaviors, they can better use their language skills to assist them in establishing a plan for modifying their behavior accordingly. The organizers provide a visual referent to record this thought process, supporting further development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.