Ken Shyminsky, a former vice president of the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada, draws upon his personal experiences as an teacher and student with Tourette Syndrome to help children with TS and related disorders. He also has Tourette himself and is the founder of the website Neurologically Gifted.
Social skills and social thinking are not easy for children who have neurological disorder. Careful and intense instruction can help a child learn these skills which will improve their capacity to learn in all areas.
Before I give my support to these instructional tools, I’d like to state that I have no financial interests in this resource and receive nothing from the author or publisher. I’ve merely used the resource and found it to be an effective tool for teaching children with behavior challenges to make positive changes in their lives. In fact, I was so impressed with the resources, that I purchased a set for my stepson’s (self-contained behavior) classroom teacher. Using the resources together, we were able to establish common language and understanding to support my stepson’s profound behavior challenges at school and at home.
Profoundly challenged by TS, OCD and ADHD, my stepson had absolutely no self-regulation skills. He lived his entire 10 years (at that time) “in the moment” that he was experiencing. He’d hyper-focus on himself only, and gave absolutely no thought to future or past events or to others in any given situation.
Even if he was given candy, it would be forgotten (forever more) as soon as it was out of his sight. He did not connect responses of other people to past events or behaviours. Without any ability to control himself, he was unaware of “cause and effect“. He didn’t even see “the effect”. He’d wonder why he was in trouble, react with violence, be consequenced, then move on (without learning anything to prevent recurrences).
As a special education teacher with more than 20 years of teaching experience, I can confidently state that these resources were tremendously helpful. When challenging behaviors arose, my family members were able to identify the behavior (“You’re seem to have a bit of a Glassman acting in you” or “I’m sorry, that was a total Topic Twistermeister”).
Although there are a number of resources listed on the website, my spouse and I selected two story booklets and a teacher’s resource. The first booklet is titled, “”You are a Social Detective”, the second is titled, “Superflex”, and the teacher resource is titled, “Superflex… A Superhero Social Thinking Curriculum.”