How this photograph gives me information about how kids think socially.
When I meet with kids in person I use what is called the Social Thinking Informal Assessment® to provide information about the individual's social learning needs.
I don't do this assessment with kids online because I can't do it the way it's intended to be used. In those cases I have to collect information from parents by asking really specific questions that I have evolved over time.
I use this photograph as part of the assessment and ask the following questions:
- What's happening in this picture?
- How do these people know each other?
- What time of day is it?
- How do the individuals in the picture feel right now and why do they feel that way?
- What do you think will happen next?
Sometimes the answers are all accurate, often there are some accurate answers and other times there are few accurate answers.
Here are some of the things kids have told me:
- They're having dinner.
- The people are brother and sister.
- The man is mad at his watch because it stopped working.
- The next thing that will happen is she'll finish dinner (and nothing beyond that).
What I'm looking for by asking these questions is:
- What is the kids level of situational awareness?
- How is his ability to infer what the people are thinking and feeling, based on the context of the situation?
- What is his ability to share information in a narrative format and predict what will happen next based on that narrative?
All really helpful information but here's the difficult part-some kids can do this fine through seeing a static image but may struggle with these things in real life situations, which are not static and ever-changing.
Here's what is not going to provide me with this information: psychological testing, IQ scores,simply going by what a parent tells me (because most parents tell me "he has difficulty reading social cues").
I often ask for information from educators particularly for my programs/camp because that provides me with insight about what the kid looks like in social situations. Again, I've had to refine the types of questions I ask educators to get the information that is most relevant to me. Michelle Garcia Winner, the creator of Social Thinking® gave me the most important questions to ask which has helped me tremendously.
I really dig for information that's going to help me plan what to teach. I've developed my groups and camp to focus on the areas which I find are most relevant for the kids I work with. I can do this because I work with a very specific population: kids with ADHD, anxiety with ADHD, learning differences with ADHD.
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