We use Social Thinking at Westhaven to teach social competencies and not just social skills. Social competencies involve our social learning processes and these are central to many aspects of academic learning.
Since self-regulation of emotion and behaviour drives development of executive functioning skills, we consider the sources of dysregulation within our pupils.
At Westhaven, we use a number of Social Thinking teaching concepts and tools, one of which is the ‘Superflex’ series. Superflexprovides opportunity for increased self-awareness.
Why we teach Social Thinking
Part of teaching children with ASC is recognising that they may be prone to rigid thinking. Rigid thinking is when someone gets stuck on an idea, thought, behaviour, or fear. They are not able to think outside or act outside of whatever box they have found themselves in. Their brain becomes rigid, and problem solving diminishes. Rigid thinking goes along with black and white thinking, i.e. good or bad, right or wrong. There is no grey area. They can become combative verbally when they are sure they are 100 percent right and you are 100 percent wrong. Often it is caused by anxiety or fear. It can also be caused by literal thinking patterns. Rigid thinking can greatly affect a child’s ability to socialize appropriately, as well as their ability to learn.