Most children can negotiate transitions without much difficulty. If a child does protest, it is usually because they are being asked to move from a desirable activity to a less desirable activity. However, for children on the spectrum, transitions (of all types) can be quite challenging. Even relatively straightforward directions such as "Get your shoes on.
As a speech/language pathologist, I became aware of the many opportunities to enhance a child’s speech/language skills through the practice of yoga. Children can actively learn directional terms such as “in front/in back, next to, top/back, middle, right and left”. Social language skills are enhanced by introductions/comments during icebreaker activities and partner poses. Mindful listening games promote auditory awareness, discrimination and joint attention. Children improve body awareness and imitation skills while moving into different postures. They also increase awareness of the different parts of their body.
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Let’s compare “getting to know you” steps of working with neuro-typical students versus students with special challenges. What are the “isms” which make this dynamic different?
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But how does this happen? How do individuals learn to manage their own behaviors when professionals often can’t even do it?
The answer lies in a skill known as Self-Regulation.
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Have you heard the term Social Emotional Learning, or SEL recently and thought, what is social emotional learning and why does it matter?
Social Emotional Learning, or SEL, is the process by which children and adults learn to build relationships, identify and manage their own emotions, learn empathy and how to take the perspective of others, and to make good choices in their daily lives. But SEL is more than just learning the skills of social behavior, i.e. the “what”; it is also about learning the “why” of these behaviors. How we teach students becomes just as important as what we teach.
In this blog post, we will discuss experiences with SEL, SEL and Children, SEL and Adults, and why this is such an important topic. As an added bonus, we will be including books and activities that will assist you in implementing social emotional learning in the classroom.