Make New Friends………..

Now that the school year is up and running, we will have new opportunities to guide and  support our rigid, anxious, and distracted kids as they begin to navigate new academic and social experiences.  One of the more common challenges for all types of sensory kids revolves around understanding the rules of friendship.  Social rules fall under the umbrella of abstract experiences that can often be difficult for our sensory kids.

Thankfully, we have many things that we can use to help us paint a picture for our sensory kids and one of my favorite tools is popular songs / sayings.  Here is the first verse of a popular Scout Song that helps explain the different levels of friendships:

Make new friends,

but keep the old.

One is silver,

the other is gold.

Why this song works so well as a social teaching tool:

1) Short and Direct:

Many sensory kids can have a hard time breaking down the meaning in longer pieces.  This song gives it’s message in a direct, simple way.

2) Rating Scale:

A built-in rating scale (Gold and Silver) explains the different levels of friendship in a concrete, tangible way.

3) Visual Friendly:

It is very easy to take this song and create a picture or visual to help your child see gold and silver.  You could take it a step further and help your child define what a Gold friend and a Silver friend means to them.  How might a Silver friend become a Gold friend?  Are they a Gold friend or a Silver friend or does it depend on who they are with?  Is it more important to have a few Gold friends or alot of silver friends or somewhere in the middle?

Take a simple song or saying and help create a concrete lesson for your sensory child.  These tools are the building blocks for understanding those confusing, abstract life experiences.  Look at some of your favorite songs, poems, or sayings and see if they can become a teaching tool for your family.  Here’s simple supports for more peaceful days ~