Amanda Morin Help them learn flexible thinking strategies with this resource! A flexible mindset moves us away from limiting thought patterns to a place of openness and possibility. Information is abundant, and constantly bombarding us. They have to organize their thoughts and choose the words for the sentences. Flexible thinkers let go of their first thought to make a correction. Your email address will not be published. You can drive a different way home than you typically do from a particular location. 1. There was an issue submitting your email address. I suggest that you select your terminology carefully. The Tissue Box Game: Put several items into a tissue box. Two of her children have learning differences. Discover strategies to help all ages develop flexible thinking to improve how they interpret what others say and do, how they work in a group, learn in a classroom, perform at work, etc. Assist your child with developing strategies for anxiety. It is difficult for concrete learners to let go of what they learn and imagine or follow logical reasoning to devise a new solution. Name it, point it out and reinforce it. This concept originates in the work of Drs. It is frequently believed that challenges with flexibility may be related to anxiety. Bob Cunningham, EdM What progress, you ask, have I made? Parents and teachers often find themselves responding to the behavioral outcome of the stress and anxiety involved with this “inflexible thinking,” rather than teaching flexible thinking in a systematic way. Kids who struggle with flexible thinking often have trouble coping with change. It takes time to help your child or adolescent be more flexible. Help them learn flexible thinking strategies with this resource! The following ten strategies may assist you with teaching your child how to be more flexible in the face of these ever increasing demands. Model how flexible thinking helps you cope with frustration, unexpected events, unreasonable demands, or moments demanding delayed gratification. Divergent thinking strategies are taught as the Productive Thinking Talent. They just sit on the table and do nothing. Your email address will not be published. Think of varied ideas (flexibility). You can then take out the clay and stretch it and make things out of it and talk about how much more fun the flexible clay is. Here are six ways kids use this skill for learning. Copyright © 2014–2020 Understood For All Inc. All rights reserved. Try to use the exact same words or phrases each time with everyone in … Here are five tips that may […] designed for information and educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. So you instantly come up with a new way to get there. Many childrenlove superheroes and can relate to SuperFlex. Doctors have a term to describe the ability to think about things in a different way. Explore functional fixity. Kids use flexible thinking both for learning to read and for reading to learn. 9. Imagine you’re driving somewhere, and you discover that a street you were planning to turn onto is blocked off for construction. We will be focusing on flexible thinking muscles. Because differences are our greatest strength. Flexible thinking is when kids are able to think about something in a new way. Once you’ve identified the anxiety and named it, children or adolescents can draw pictures of their “worry bug” or their “exaggerator”. Assist your child with developing strategies for anxiety. All of these concepts give us concrete ways to describe the anxiety that our child or adolescent is feeling. Sentences aren’t put together the way they are in English. This website provides information of a general nature and is Children with autism are often frustrated with changes in their daily schedule, or the unexpected actions of another person. The Flexible Thinking Program includes guided problem ­solving strategies and fun thinking games. Saved from They can see how a new type of problem can be solved using a formula they already know. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For example, you … Several readers shared that their children or students with ASD / autism enjoyed and are benefiting from having read this book! There are ways to help, though. One of the best things you can do is to help your child learn to make a list of pros and cons, first on paper and then mentally, to determine the best choice. Take time to model flexibility in your daily activities. Writer and educator Dan Kirby states, “Fluency is the first consideration. I can change a plan, a presentation, a method of doing something, or even a … And they may interpret what they read much too literally. Flexible thinking also helps kids understand that there’s more than one way to solve a math problem. Or do they need to learn the basic ideas so they can retell the story for an essay test? Conditions. Please share it with your friends on your favourite social network. Transitions and change are the norm rather than the exception. Anxiety impacts many areas of development including social interactions, academic performance and general comfort in life’s challenging circumstances. 1. Have children pull one item out at a time and tell you if... 2. For older children, you can talk about the specific worries that are floating in the air and how you can pop the worries to make them disappear. 8. The unique anatomy and chemistry of this transitional state comprises increased dopamine receptors and … serves as executive director of learning development at Understood. Practice thinking creatively. Another way to build cognitive flexibility is to make an effort to think in … The next step is to determine strategies that might ameliorate the anxiety. These resources. For older children, you can introduce rule changes in Uno, card games or any game that is interesting to them. Without strong flexible thinking skills, kids may struggle with math that requires them to do more than just solve the equation on the page. This could be a stress response. This is a very helpful demonstration of flexible versus rigid thinking. Doing math problems requires a very different strategy than doing a writing assignment. If you have “assigned” seats at the kitchen table, switch seats around. Kids who are more rigid thinkers can have a hard time shifting among all these things. Autism Awareness Centre’s mission is to ensure our extensive autism resource selection features the newest titles available in North America. Students will learn and practice strategies that they can use to cope with change, as well as create a practical plan to deal with changes that come. I have begun to be a friend to myself.~Hecato, Greek philosopher. She is the author of. Steven Gutstein (2001) and Rachelle Sheely. Teachers can use strategies in the classroom to teach in ways that make more sense to your child. Flexible thinking is also what helps them understand the perspectives of different characters in a story. The Flexible Thinking Program provides fun games and guided instructions on how to help your child to become more a more flexible … Click to Read Maureen's Full Biography. Sep 23, 2012 - printable scenario cards to use with flexible thinking lessons and rock brain. It’s that time of year to recognize people you care about by giving a gift…, I was presented with a statement about my daughter, Julia, in parent-teacher interviews this past week. My thinking preference (See the Hermann Whole-Brain Thinking Model - also on MindTools) is very flexible. A Week of Switching, Shifting, and Stretching, Developing Flexibility Skills in Children and Teens with Autism, Solving Executive Function Challenges: Simple Ways to Get Kids with Autism Unstuck and on Target. When kids are rigid in their thinking, you may see them having trouble identifying the correct pronunciation for words. How it looks: Students with “rigid”thinking don’t “roll with the punches.” Finally, praise your child or adolescent when they are acting in a flexible manner. Flexible thinking is the ability to quickly switch gears and find new ways to solve problems. Being able to develop alternative plans (Plan Bs) is a vital aspect of resilience. As kids start reading books to get information, they use flexible thinking to understand what information is important and what details are just used to add to a description. Once the jar is full you can have a family outing to your child’s favorite restaurant for a celebratory dinner. Or it might have lots of errors. Flexible thinking allows kids to switch gears and look at things differently. Concrete learners like to memorize what they read or learn and stick with it. 10. Parents and teachers often find themselves responding to the behavioral outcome of the stress and anxiety involved with this “inflexible thinking,” rather than teaching flexible thinking in a systematic way. 5. does not market to or offer services to individuals in the European Union. Imagine this: The school sends out … Discuss flexibility challenges you encounter. Describing anxiety in a concrete way is critical for helping a child or adolescent feel they have the power to conquer and take control of the anxiety. A simple writing strategy called freewriti… Coaching is required while playing these games to help your child develop new thinking strategies. Games are some of the best ways to build flexible thinking skills. Silly little changes throughout the day can go a long way to building flexibility. Required fields are marked *. Kids use it to find ways to solve word problems and to understand that a phrase like “how many in all” means that addition is being used. worked as a classroom teacher and as an early intervention specialist for 10 years. 6 Ways Kids Use Flexible Thinking to Learn, By Michelle Garcia Winner (2008) has designed a curriculum that works with children and adolescents to assist them with being more flexible. Understood is a nonprofit initiative. It is the basis for all that follows.” By definition, fluencymeans “writing and speaking with ease.” It comes from a Latin term meaning “flowing.” This is why fluency is “the first consideration” for creative thinking. It’s also the skill that helps kids understand how words can be used in more than one way (“Don’t slip on the banana peel” and “Sign the permission slip”). The first floor represents an extraordinary low level of anxiety and the tenth floor represents a huge amount of anxiety. Each and every session of the Flexible Thinking Program challenges students to stretch a little bit further, consistently developing and adding strategies to their flexible thinking “toolbox.” Note that the information contained on this web site should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice. 6 Ways Kids Use Flexible Thinking to Learn, build your child’s flexible thinking skills. As they are able to control and reframe their thinking, their emotions can benefit in parallel. We all live with worries and stress from time to time, but when anxiety begins to interfere with a…, Download our PDF resource sampler and order form. They have to add supporting details while keeping track of the main idea. Kids need to be able to change their thinking to handle both. In an article by Rotheram-Fuller & MacMullen (2011), they state that 72%-80% of children with ASDs meet criteria for an axis I disorder with anxiety the most reported disorder (Bruin, Ferdinand, Meester, Nijs & Verheij, 2007; Leyfer et al., 2006.) Help them learn how to switch gears quickly and find new solutions to problems when circumstances change without warning. Metacognition is what will tie mental/cognitive control to behavioral control. Let us know how we can help. Flexible Thinking. You can simply call them worry bubbles with a very young child to introduce the concept. There are tools and strategies that can help your child think less rigidly. Do they need to memorize facts and information for a multiple-choice quiz? Tags: anxiety, flexibility in thinking, worry. If current trends continue, universal preschool is the next big educational initiative coming our way. This may include using Tamar Chansky’s (2004) concepts of The Worry Bug, the worry tape or the Exaggerator. Editorial Policy: Autism Awareness Centre believes that education is the key to success in assisting individuals who have autism and related disorders. Knowing how to switch between different subjects during homework time becomes increasingly important as kids get older and have more work to juggle. Sign up for weekly emails containing helpful resources for you and your family. Common strategies for enhancing cognitive flexibility resemble strategies for boosting divergent thinking, creativity, and openness. Comes with a blank booklet for customization, a booklet with pictures of girls and a booklet with pictures of boys. Until your students can write freely and get their ideas flowing, they'll struggle to unlock their most creative thoughts. companies. What it means: Flexible thinking allows students to adjust to the unexpected. Flexible thinkingis essential in the social world. This may include using Tamar Chansky’s (2004) concepts of The Worry Bug, the worry tape or the Exaggerator. Understood does not and will not take money from pharmaceutical “Cheat sheets” that connect words or phrases to math operations can be helpful tools. Grades: Lauren will be speaking at our Calgary Conference on November 16, 2019. Kids who are rigid in their thinking have difficulty moving beyond the more basic ways of doing things. 4. When kids have a hard time thinking flexibly, it may be hard for them to learn the rules and the exceptions that make up languages. Booklet on flexible thinking strategies that students can use when they get stuck and need reminders of what they can do. Doing homework and studying for a test require flexible thinking, too. For example, with a younger child, you can play Candy Land and then periodically announce that you are changing the rules. 4. and are used with permission. But if... 3. 3. There are many strategies to assist children with increasing their ability to be more flexible overall. When they’re starting out, flexible thinking enables them to understand how the same letter combination can make different sounds (like the “ough” in words like enough and dough). The following ten strategies may assist you with teaching your child how to be more flexible in the face of these ever increasing demands. They may have difficulty understanding abstract concepts in math and reading. Kids who have trouble with flexible thinking often have some problems with learning. Flexible thinking does not mean flexible muscles. “Understood” and related logos are trademarks of Understood For All Inc. Recognizing that thoughts and feelings often don't last. All of that requires the use of flexible thinking. 2. For many children including those on the autism spectrum, these transitions and changes can provoke discomfort and even intense anxiety. Another strategy for tackling anxiety and thereby increasing flexibility that may work with younger children around ages 2 -9 is to blow bubbles and POP…POP…POP their worry bubbles. Here’s an example of how those skills work together. Flexible thinkers also understand there are exceptions to those rules. The intent is to show a child that transitions and changes can be fun rather than anxiety-provoking. They call it cognitive flexibility. You can also play games at home to build your child’s flexible thinking skills and come up with ways to make homework more manageable. 3. It teaches flexible thinking which is a great tool for coping with stress. You can teach children to identify what floor they are on and what strategies might bring the elevator down again. Subjects: Special Education, Critical Thinking, School Counseling. 2. It uses two skills — flexible thinking and set shifting. • Flexible thinking – a critical ability that supports resilience – RAIN increases the chances of seeing more solutions and opportunities in all situations. Have a look at this article that I wrote – . Flexible thinkers have an easier time understanding idioms (“keep your ear to the ground”) and puns (“the joke about the duck quacked me up”). There are so many factors that impact flexibility ranging from anxiety to sensory challenges. Amanda Morin, worked as a classroom teacher and as an early intervention specialist for 10 years. My high functioning autistic son just turned 13 years old, he has developed a behaviour, where he has stopped listening to us or follow our instructions for normal routine, he was behaving perfectly till 2 months back, but recently he has developed a behaviour, where he refuses everything, he just wants to sit and play with his phone, we are very much taken a back with this development, if you can give us some tip, it will help us a great. Flexible thinking also plays a role in learning foreign languages. Flexible thinking can be broken down into the following areas. Flexible thinking means being able to adapt to new situations, break down complex tasks into bite size chunks, improvise, and shift strategies to meet different types of challenges. It is described as follows. Writing is a complicated process for kids. The games and activities in the Flexible Thinking Program require set-shifting and flexible thinking. Teaching kids note-taking strategies and providing homework planners can help ease the stress. 7. Many things we do every day require it: interpreting what others are saying and doing, understanding humor, learning in a classroom, working with others, being an effective employee, etc. When kids have trouble thinking flexibly, their writing may not have enough supporting details. Flexible thinking strategies include: Taking a break Asking Her teacher felt that Julia manipulates people to get her own way. Here are five tips that may […] information, please review the Terms and Our guest blogger this week is Lauren Kerstein, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with children, adolescents, adults and families. Explore the concept flexible and stuck thinking, the eighth webinar in our 10 Concepts series. Comes with a blank booklet for customization, a booklet with pictures of girls and a booklet with pictures of boys. It includes the ability to “unlearn” old ways of doing things. Set shifting is when they can let go of the old way of doing something in order to use a new way. By signing up, you acknowledge that you reside in the United States and are at least 13 years old, and agree that you've read the Terms and Conditions. Booklet on flexible thinking strategies that students can use when they get stuck and need reminders of what they can do. Children with and without a diagnosis on the autism spectrum can struggle with many challenges related to anxiety. There are some very simple things that you can do to practice flexibility throughout your day. And, we are thrilled about it. Flexible thinking and set shifting activities are great ways to practice metacognition strategies. This can make homework time a source of frustration. These kids can easily use both the rules and the exceptions of language. Students will learn and practice strategies that they can use to cope with change, as well as create a practical plan to deal with changes that come.