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June 15, 2015

Perspective Taking

Q: Could a 5-point scale help a 5th grade student with ASD to understand issues of appropriate Internet use? My student has sent mean emails to both staff and students and has made mean comments on their blogs. I want to explain to this student that her words are hurtful and that sarcasm doesn't come across in print the way that it does in real life?

A: You could try using a 5-point scale to "systemize" a discussion about her various posts. Below is an example of how her scale might look.

You can then review her posts or comments and mark 1-5 based on your perception of each remark. Then have her do the same, giving her perception to see if you share perspectives or how you differ. Maybe have two peers also rate their posted comments and hers. Practicing this and including discussion about perspective taking can help your student understand how her comments make other people feel, even if she doesn't feel the same. Once she understands the rating system, it is easy to point out future problems by saying:

"I know you thought this comment was a funny #1, but Sarah felt like it was a mean #3. She is upset." Remember to celebrate the good stuff too: "Wow, Andrea 'liked' your comment. That probably means it was a #1 or #2."

Posting Remarks Scale

5 = These comments are actually against the law. These are threats or even perceived threats.

4 = These comments are very offensive to many people. People might quit you as a FB friend or even report you.

3 = These comments are on the fence. These are things like using sarcasm because you think it is funny but when someone only reads the words (without the benefit of body language or facial expression) it is likely to be mis-read. Other people might think you are trying to be mean instead of funny.

2 = These are factual comments that will most likely be taken as they were meant, even if there are some people who don't agree. No use of explanation points or capital letters.

1 = These are for sure compliments. Words that say something nice about another person's post or when you click on "like" for a comment or picture that was posted.


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