* Spoiler Alert * Did you see last night’s Parenthood? I loved the moment where Amber finally “gets it” that Max simply cannot tell the difference between a sincere and a false apology through facial expressions and voice – the nonverbal cues. Her idea to help him learn the difference by watching YouTube videos of public apologies (Bill Clinton) and parsing out the eye contact, the smile or frown, the tone of voice, etc. was creative, clever and most of all, simple. It didn’t require a fancy curriculum, or post graduate training. It didn’t require specialized equipment (note the old Mac they were using!) or expensive training materials. It required creative thinking, patience and a willingness to take the time necessary to teach the subject matter. I’ve used this sort of thing many times and I know many parents who have done the same. You can do it “old school” and create a social story using family photos and handwritten notes, you can go high tech and use your Iphone. You can rent the Brady Bunch episode where Peter’s voice changes (thank you Netflix!) and explain the maturation process while singing “It’s time to change”. Sometimes the most important skill that we need to have in working with our loved ones with ASD is creativity.
Speaking of creativity – did you catch the news? Carol Grey is finally coming back to Connecticut! Creator of Social Stories™ and comic strip conversations, Carol is a dynamic presenter with lots of information and hands on tools you can use in school, at home, in the community and in the workplace to help teach social skills to our kids and adults with ASD. Save the date, Saturday, April 28, 2012 for the 22nd Annual Statewide Conference on Autism. Lots more information on our website. See you there!