TEACCH Tip#16 – Change Can Be Difficult: The Power of the Positive – Pick Three
Change has become the new normal. Many individuals had to change to change from going to school and work , to studying and working remotely. Summer arrived and many of our usual routines have been disrupted: camps are virtual, and some families are taking fewer vacations and road trips. Individuals with ASD often struggle with change (both small changes as well as larger, more impactful changes). They may often negatively respond to changes at first, and it can be very challenging for them to shift perspective and thus change their emotion. Practicing a routine to find positive aspects of a situation can foster a shift in perspective, support emotion regulation and reduce stress. The “Power of the Positive: Pick 3” card can be used to practice a routine to strengthen this skill of shifting perspective.
Introduce the concept as you talk about a past situation when a change was originally seen as negative, but later became more comfortable or positive.
- Finally, this concept can be used to help prepare for future changes. For example, we will be experiencing changes as we begin to move back to our work sites and schools (these types of changes from home to school and to new work environments occur throughout one’s life). Use the “Power of the Positive: Pick 3” card to discuss some possible positive aspects of the upcoming changes.
- Demonstrate how to practice this strategy by discussing and reflecting on past situations when you, as a parent and/or mentor personally struggled with change. List some negative things you thought or felt about the change, then use the “Power of the Positive: Pick 3” card to talk about 3 positive outcomes for you.
- Together, practice finding the positives and negatives for different situations while watching television shows, reading books, etc. Use the “Power of the Positive: Pick 3” card and strategy to create a routine that can be applied to changes on a daily basis into the future.
- Be patient, gentle and consistent. Change can be hard for all of us and using the “Power of the Positive” takes practice and support.
- That’s Good, That’s Bad by Margery Cuyler is a fun children’s book to read and discuss.
Learn how to use this tip and downloadable materials – Watch video of Glenna Osborne and McCafferty S. Kermon from TEACCH discussing how to use the TEACCH tip and downloadable visuals to help support individuals cope with change.
Glenna Osborne and McCafferty Kermon from TEACCH reading and using visuals with That’s Good! That’s Bad book for TEACCH Tales