Product Review: Emoji Stickers

Emoji’s have changed the world of texting.  Each and every facial expression is specific and is representative of a feeling.  Happy, Thrilled, Content, Amused….they all look different in emoji world. Use these emoji stickers to kickstart important conversations.


Name the emotion/feeling

Give an example of the emotion/feeling

Recognize unspoken emotions or feelings when reading a book or play

Games that Provide Sensory Stimulation for Students on the Spectrum

We play games in therapy for many different reasons.  The game may serve as a reinforcement, as a basis for social skills training, or as a teaching mechanism itself.

Choosing the wrong game is a nightmare for the student and therapist.  Games with complex rules, multiple pieces, easy cheating factor, and long play time will not work. Many board/box games from toy retailers or therapy suppliers fall into that difficult category.

The game of Chutes and Ladders is the quintessential example.  The board is whimsical and appealing but those arrows can get anyone confused.  Right or left, it is always hard to discern.  Not to mention the small boxes and the issues when multiple kids are in one box.  Then someone shakes the board and the game is a mess.  And when students ‘cheat’ there is no way to prove it and a spirited argument ensues between the players.

Choosing games may be even more difficult for students with ASD.  They often gravitate towards the IPAD for games and work.  As communication facilitators we must ask ourselves if this is the most effective modality for teaching communication?  Should we allow this comfortable retreat into a ‘technological trance’ during or session?  Perhaps if  we provide them with tactilly and visually appealing games and activites then we can keep them focused enough to perform.

Below are some games that provide sensory feedback for the players.  The game pieces and parts are stimulating and enjoyable to hold and feel.  They provide the perfect backdrop for calm learning.  The game rules are not very complex, and do not be afraid to simplify the rules if you need to.

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These games provide sensory feedback for students with ASD.  These games are likely to increase their engagement and attention to their environment.

***However, make sure that the students DoNot place pieces in their mouths. 



Social-Speech Group for Self-Contained Classroom: MakeBeliefComix & Shikufitzy

Today’s in class speech/socials skills group at the High School went pretty well.  Thanks to Bill Zimmerman and Tom Bloom, authors of Make Beliefs Comix.  They  sketched some basic comics containing speech bubbles and thought bubbles and “you supply the words to complete the book.” As far as illustrations go the comix are decontextualized, and there is is no background drawing.  The only context is some written text that goes along with it, like “He tells her something important.”

For starters I sketched a speech bubble and thought bubble on the white board.  We discussed what people might say and what they might think.  Then we discussed the role of emotions on thoughts/speech.  Finally we broke off into groups for the students to fill in some comix.  Many of the students cannot read and write so they needed a staff member in each group.  The results were surprising.  Some of the more verbal students were disinterested but less verbal students were great at this activity.  We finished off by sitting in a semi-circle and reading aloud.  The students put up their hands in a silent cheer when their comix were read.

Make Beliefs Comix: Fill-ins

Target Goals: Perspective Taking, Theory of Mind, Expressive Language, Social Propriety


One caveat on using this creation is that some of the pictures can be odd, involving aliens, animals, and other quirks.  Be sure to look through this carefully before attempting to use this in a session.

When working with the frum population, take a look at the Shikufitzky series by Shifra Blum.  They are pretty funny and can also be described as decontextualized.  Aside from the characters and minimal props, the humor is conveyed through language.  Which makes this a great social skills resource.

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Read the comic to the student/ have the student read it out loud. Start by contextualizing (giving context) the comic with the student.

Ask: Where is this taking place?  Who are the people in the picture? ( The answers can be flexible but they need to make sense:)  What time of day is this taking place?  How old are the girls in the picture.

Ask: Does this seem funny? Does it make you laugh?  If they say “yes” ask them why.  Allow them to build their descriptive and inferencing skills as they do so.  Many students may have a difficult time with this.  This is where the speech therapy component comes in.  Prompt: This is funny because……  Other students will not understand the humor and will not find it funny.  In that case the SLP will give them the background knowledge necessary to understand the humor.  Explain that needlepointing is a hobby.  A hobby is something that people enjoy.  If people truly enjoy something they usually finish it quickly.  Sometime people have a hobby that they don’t really enjoy…in which case it may take forever to finish.

Let us know how it goes if you use MakeBeliefComix or Shikufitzy.  Any other fun ideas involving comics? Scroll down to comment on this post!