I was introducing SuperFlex (by Social Thinking) to some new students. One student was having a really tough time understanding how his brain could be ‘flexible’. I explained how his not his brain, but his thinking, needed to be flexible. Again, I was met with, “How can my thinking be flexible?” I could see I needed to think outside of the box for this one.
After some trial runs, I found a way to, hopefully, demonstrate the concept of ‘flexible thinking’. With the help of tissue paper, plastic wrap, a sharpie, and some classroom objects I managed to create a demonstration. I drew brains on the tissue paper and on the plastic wrap.
I explained that when we think flexibly, our brain can take in all the information around us, instead of only a few things. This helps us think and work through situations. I had two students hold the plastic wrap tight and began to place items on it ( a bottle of glue, book, tape, etc ). As the items were added the plastic wrap stretched. I explained that the items were information and when we are thinking flexibly our brains ‘stretch’ to take it all in.
Next they held the tissue paper and we repeated the same process. The tissue paper represented our brains when we are not thinking flexibly. When more and more ‘information’ was added the tissue paper broke. I explained when we only allow ourselves to think about parts of a situation, it can be hard for our brains to process it and we can have a breakdown in communication.
After seeing what ‘thinking flexibly’ was, my student seemed to have a better grasp on the concept. Have you ever done any ‘flexibility’ demonstrations before?
To help myself track some of the, difficult to quantify social language/pragmatic goals that we focus on when we use Social Thinking, I use these Social Language and Pragmatic Rubrics. They have been sooo helpful for teachers and parents. You can find them in my TpT store here.