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School is a bad fit for DS1 right now. I am going through the procedures I need to do to get adjustments made academically, but the social side of things has me really stymied on how to help DS. I am sure that some of what he is going through might apply to any 6 year old, but I know that his giftedness and some of the associated aspects of his personality are making things harder to manage.

DS1 sometimes has a lot of trouble playing on with the other kids on the playground. What seems to happen is that they are playing reasonably and then something slightly. untoward happens. DS1 responds with a strong emotional reaction and tries to get things sorted out through negotiation. But, he holds on to something that he perceives as a slight to himself or someone else longer than anybody else does. So, he sometimes finds himslef still trying to talk about something that the other kids have moved on from. He gets frustrated because they won't listen to him and don't care. Eventually, one of the other kids gets fed up with him pushing the issue and holding the game up and says or does something slightly nasty, but not terribly out of line. That pushes DS1 over the boiling point and he lashes out physically.

Also, the school's response to this pattern has been to keep him off the playground and he reads in the office during recess. I am not thrilled with this solution as he needs the exercise, but he loves it. When I ask him about it, he is thrilled by the time he gets to read his books, especially now that the librarian at school is picking out 5th grade reading level books for him that are suitable for a first grader to read. Also, he says it keeps him away from the boy he calls "the bully." When I talk to the teacher and the vice-principal about this kid, the adults say that the kid is a pest, but not at a level that they consider rises to bullying. DS1 says that the kid threatens him but wouldn't actually follow-through on the threats. I would love to find some ways to talk to DS1 about dealing with annoying people and building some emotional resiliency, but this is an area that I am not strong with.

Any ideas about how I could help him through these emotional challenges would be appreciated. TIA.
 

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I have no answer, but I am sitting here laughing because my 4-year-old just came home from preschool today saying she'd been in trouble and "had to" sit in the office and read books. Apparently she'd gotten into an argument with another child over them not doing something right, and they weren't talking to her, so she threw the paper. I was just thinking I need to figure out a way for her to handle her frustration more appropriately at school, but like you, I have no idea how to tell her to deal with it. Clearly, sending her to the office to read book isn't going to discourage her since she thought that was spectacular fun.
 

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My son has/had many of these types of issues. For some reason, turning 7 has made a world of difference. There was a lot of work prior to this, and the staff at his new school are phenomenal, so I can't discount that!

If you have ~$50 burning a hole in your pocket, I would highly recommend getting a copy of the SuperFlex curriculum. In a nutshell, SuperFlex is a superhero of flexible thinking and he fights the bad guys, like Rock Brain (rigid thinking), Glass Man (overly emotional responses) etc etc. This has made a huge difference in DS's understanding of himself and others, and provides a safe platform from which to deconstruct what happened for future learning. The curriculum comes with a comic book (I hear the second in the series isn't so great) and a CD-Rom with all of the printables. We regularly use SuperFlex to discuss what other people were likely experiencing, and how DS reacted. He also LOVES to describe his sister using the bad guys
.
I believe the curriculum is targetted to kids on the spectrum, but it has really helped my really sensitive, very empathetic, very justice oriented and sometimes stuck thinker.
 

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Superflex is what initially came to mind for me also. My daughter's school started using it last year in K and they've expanded into 1st grade this year and it is a great program!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by joensally View Post
If you have ~$50 burning a hole in your pocket, I would highly recommend getting a copy of the SuperFlex curriculum.
Did you do any of the suggested prerequisite books - "Thinking About You Thinking About Me" or "You Are a Social Detective?" I'm wondering how these compare or if they're truly necessary before the SuperFlex curriculum.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by LauraLoo View Post
Did you do any of the suggested prerequisite books - "Thinking About You Thinking About Me" or "You Are a Social Detective?" I'm wondering how these compare or if they're truly necessary before the SuperFlex curriculum.
We have You Are a Social Detective, and it's pretty good but I don't think necessary. It goes through the different kinds of smarts (social smarts, school smarts, lego smarts...). It talks about expected and unexpected, which was useful for DS last year (at 6) around perspective taking. A line:
"Social Detectives use their eyes and ears along with what they know in their brains to figure out what is expected and even what may happen next." DS had some sensory-related behaviours that he didn't realize were affecting others, and we used "expected" language to unpack it for him. Another couple of lines: "Being a Social Detective builds our social smarts. This makes us better Social Thinkers over time. Good Social Thinkers work well in groups, in the classroom, and on the playground." I paid $26 for the book, which is a whallop for not a huge book, but it introduced language that we could use to debrief or plan IRL.

An example of SuperFlex this morning in the car. DS asks me which element I'd rather be, or what combination, and wants to discuss his prefered combo. I get as far as "Oh, I can be a combination? That's better than just one..." and he's off. DD hollers at him (she's NOT a morning person and he is) "we don't care - this is not interesting to us! Mom barely answered and you're going on and on" (apparently he started this topic before I got in the car). So I said, "Yes, DS, I did initally respond, which showed some interest, but then you went on and didn't notice that I was no longer part of the conversation. That's kind of One Sided Sid...<he disagrees>...Well, when you are interested in something, you get really excited, which is a great quality! When you're interested, you really think about it and research it. But sometimes you're so caught up in being excited, you don't notice when the person you're talking to isn't excited or tuned in. We're working on it." He argued that Sid is not excited, he's a bore, so we talked about it from Sid's perspective and from the listener's perspective.

I think that Michelle Garcia Winner's primary client group have weak Theory of Mind, and the tools are geared toward that level of understanding. But SuperFlex is fun, simple and to the point. I think we've only read the comic book together twice, but I printed a list of the characters that DS struggles with (either in himself or with a peer) and he referred to the list until he got to know them all. I don't think you'd need to do any prep work.
 
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