Social Skills: Understanding Others Reference Sheet
A few years ago I was driving home from work, thinking about how I’m frequently asking my students on the autism spectrum, “How do you think so-and-so was feeling in this or that situation?” And I was thinking about how much they struggle to answer that question. I realized that I’m asking them to give me information on exactly what they don’t know. Wouldn’t it be helpful to provide some knowledge, some information that neurotypical individuals know instinctively, before I ask them to identify or predict others’ perceptions? So I created a reference sheet of common feelings and perceptions during social interactions, and I’ve found that many of my students benefit tremendously by having this information on hand when I give them perspective-taking tasks. I’ve provided three social situations with which to use the reference sheet, but the sheet can be helpful as a reference whenever students are asked to discuss others’ points of view.