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Thinking

 


Games

think positive gameDr. PlayWell’s Think Positive Game (Ages 9 and up)
I have found this game very helpful in addressing emotional difficulties such as anxiety, depression, anger, and low self-esteem. The idea is that thoughts can be used to modify emotions if kids are given the tools to do so.

To progress towards the finish line, each player draws a card that has a question or description.  To advance, the player must correctly identify specific types of self-defeating thought patterns printed on the game board. For example, a card might read “You were invited to a party. You think to yourself, ‘Sure I got invited but he probably invited everyone in the class.’ ” The player must identify what type of distorted thinking this represents (e.g., exaggerating the negative, minimizing the positive, absolute thinking, blaming, etc.)  Each time a player answers a question correctly, she is awarded a chip and she is allowed to advance her game piece. For 2–6 players. Available at: amazon.com

set gameSET Card Game (Ages 6 and up)
The SET Card Game consists of 81 cards. Each card varies according to four characteristics: shape, color, shading, and number of shapes. The object of the game is to spot patterns, finding three cards with matching characteristics or three in which all characteristics are different. For example, a set could be three cards that are different in terms of number and shading but the same in terms of color and shape. Another example of a set would be three cards that are the same in color but different in all other respects. The process of creating a set requires flexibility and hypothesis-—because the criteria for making a set are not fixed as they are in most card games. While SET has broad appeal, the mental flexibility it promotes is particularly important for children with AS. Available at: amazon.com

 


Other Products

tally counterACCUSPLIT AL608 Finger Hold Tally Counter
Initially, I purchased this simple counter from a sporting goods store to keep count of the frequency of specific behaviors. Much to my surprise, many kids found the “click” itself reinforcing. I might, for example, have an understanding with a child that I will be click every time I hear her compliment a peer. I have also used the counter as a reality check with one of my very favorite people, a brilliant adolescent girl with AS. When I first began seeing her, I remarked on how almost everything she said was negative. She did not see this it all. So, as a reality check, we began to count. We did this for just one session, incorporating some humor. To my surprise, given this new data, she was willing to look at changing her automatic thoughts and the way that she expressed them. Available at: amazon.com

mental flossMental Floss Magazine (Age 12 and up)
A readable and entertaining bimonthly magazine, Mental Floss offers factoids on a range of topics (e.g., history, science, humanities, psychology, etc.). Many of the articles use a “Top Ten” format; these informational snippets often provided a starting point for my son Sean to pursue more information on a topic in which he previously had no interest.

The site also offers some fun features such as “The Amazing Fact Generator.” Click on it and a new and fascinating fact appears!
Examples:

“Only one U.S. coin—the zinc-coated steel penny produced during World War II—can be picked up by a magnet.”

“Mark Twain was born in 1835, a year in which Halley’s comet was visible from earth. In 1909, he wrote, “I came in with Halley’s comet…and I expect to go out with it.” Indeed, he did. When he died on April 21,1910, the comet was again visible in the night sky.”

Subscriptions can be ordered online. One year: $21.97, digital version: $17.97 Available at: mentalfloss.com

 

Learning from bees. Some children with ASD do not recognize a need to improve their social skills. How to explain what’s in it for them. Learn more.

What stimulates sensory systems, muscles and is calming to lie on top of? Stability balls. Learn more.

Losing track of time. Help your child with time management by making it visual. Learn more.

Addressing anxiety, depression, anger and low self-esteem. A game which can be used to help modify emotions. Learn more.