Completing the Self Talk unit today ,we learned WHY the brain is so forgetful about the good things that happen to us. We learned that the brain is like velcro for the negative talk, conditions or events of our lives because its' job is to keep us safe. So, our brain looks out for danger all the time- scans the environment for that 'saber tooth ' tiger in the bushes. The good things that happen are quickly forgotten in this negative bias brain scape. We learned it takes practice to notice and remember the good.
The day started with me deliberately giving each person in the room a quiet personal compliment. Over a period of 3 hours I had given a meaningful compliment to each person at least once. Many got several. ( They are amazing children after all so it was easy. ) That afternoon I asked if anyone had given any compliments or heard any. All said no quickly. I paused and asked 'Are you sure?". One boy raised his hand recalling the one I told him earlier, another boy also raised his hand recalling his. But they were the only two. As I reminded them each of their compliment(s) their eyes lit up as they remembered it.
I asked them why they think they forgot? This led to a short discussion of how our brain is really forgetful of the good stuff but sticky on the negative.
Go HERE for our lesson on Self Talk
I used these two platters to illustrate the difference between the velcro VS Teflon brain habit.
Each child was given a negative statement they read aloud with a velcro dot they placed on the velcro brain. I then tried to lift the heavy brain and tipped it over showing how the negative thoughts were stuck. I then had them place a few positive statements on the teflon brain and quickly flipped it over. After a few giggles they understood.
I explained that we need to practice a lot more on seeing the good 10:1 in fact. We did the math we needed 100 positives! The children got right to work. In 15 minutes they were down but we had written 52 positives we put in a baggy and attached to the teflon brain..
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I am passionate, a little bit quirky ( some may say a little bit more) and dedicated to serving children with Autism. These young people have touched me deeply and have made me a better teacher & hopefully person. I want to share what I have learned that allows these beautiful children to grow & sometimes thrive in my class.