Feedback Games

SITUATION:

Reggie, a 5th grader, is new to the district.  The school team is concerned that he is not keeping up with 5th grade work.  The school team initiated this meeting with Reggie’s parents.  The goal of the meeting is to share information about concerns and obtain consent for assessment.

PLAYERS: 4

MOM

DAD

GEN. ED TEACHER

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

TO PLAY:

  1. Identify 1 member of your group to be the Scene Director.This person’s responsibility is to oversee that your group follows these instructions.Only the Scene Director has access to the information in the envelope marked “SCRIPT NOTES.” Give this envelope to the Scene Director now.

  2. Each Actor picks a card from the Role Deck and displays it on his/her name tag.

  3. The Scene Director opens the “SCRIPT NOTES” and finds 1 page for each role in the scene.The Scene Director asks each Actor to roll one of the dice to determine which of 6 possible attitudes/dispositions/perspectives the Actor will try to incorporate during the enactment of the scene.Only the Actor and the Screen Director know the attitude the Actor will be adopting.

  4. Once all Actors know their attitude, the Scene Director will set-up the role play and initiate the scene by reading the situation out loud …and….ACTION!

Mid-play:  try to maintain the scene for at least 10 minutes

DEBRIEF:

For Actors

  1. Describe how you felt in this particular role under these circumstances.What was challenging or frustrating to you?

For Observers

  1. If you (in real life) could have changed the attitude or approach of anyone in this scene – whose would it be and how would you want it to change?

  2. Who did you empathize with in this scene, and why?

For Everyone: 

  1. Compare and contrast this scene with your real-life work experience.

 

SCRIPT NOTES:  REGGIE SCENE

Each Actor will roll one die, thus determining which of the 6 possible descriptors is in operation for their character for this scene.  Please only share the descriptor with the Actor.

Mother:

1:  You’ve known for a long time that something is different about Reggie.  Time to find out what it is and move forward.  You are resigned, down-to-earth, even-keeled about this, though also sad. 

2:  You feel very sad and frustrated that even in a new school, with new chances, Reggie still can’t make it work.  You were hoping all he needed was a fresh start.  None of your other kids ever had trouble – you never had trouble.  Only Reggie.  Geesh.  He makes you tired.  You just don’t get why he can’t pull it together.

3:  You view Reggie as gifted and misunderstood.  If school isn’t interesting to him, he “checks out”.  If he’s not doing well, you see it as the teacher’s problem, not his.  You had a bad experience at his old school and this is starting to feel just like that…

4:  You are Reggie’s step-mom.  You’ve been married to his dad for a year and have know Reggie a little longer than that.  You want him to get some help and yet have to tread very lightly as Reggie’s biological parents do not see the developmental gaps that you see.

5:  You are incredibly nervous to be in this meeting.  You are very worried that Reggie is causing trouble or that other kids are being mean to him.  You know he can be argumentative and you hope he hasn’t been disrespectful to his teachers.  Your nervousness comes out by talking a lot and going on tangents.  It’s hard for you to listen to what others are saying, even though you know it’s important.

6:  You’re angry.  Your attitude is that these public school people have no idea what they’re doing.  You just want to pull him out and send him to a private school.

Father:

1:  You kind of expected this conversation would come up.  Apparently, changing schools didn’t change anything.  You are calm, even-keeled, open to trying something to figure out how to help Reggie.

2:  You are very business-like and ask questions in a respectful manner.  You seem particularly concerned about avoiding a label – you’d like to see your son get help, but don’t want it documented anywhere. (you are worried it will compromise your son’s future).

3:  You are nervous and express it by talking a lot, interrupting others, and de-railing the conversation.  You fidget a lot and are restless and uncomfortable in the meeting.  You aren’t doing this to be difficult – you love your kid – you just feel so overwhelmed and chaotic inside; there’s something wrong with him. What if he’s just like you?

4:  You are worried about your wife – she tries so hard. You are worried about your son – it’s hard to see him lonely.  You have no idea what to do or how to help.  You respect the school team, but you’re not hopeful things will get better.

5:  You feel embarrassed and kind of guilty.  Your son is just like you – everybody always said so – he’s just a little quirky, that’s all.  In your opinion, everyone should just relax – he’s fine.

6:  You are a very busy man. Busy, busy, busy.  You view Reggie as not trying as hard as he could.  His lack of stamina embarrasses you.  You’d like to see this whole matter handled quickly, efficiently.

General Educator:

1:  You are the first person to report any concerns about Reggie.  You see signs of autism and worry that his parents have expectations for him that are not realistic.  You’d like to see him identified so that he could get some help.

2:  You don’t have any significant concerns about this student.  You view him as an immature, under-achieving, somewhat overly-indulged 5th grader.

3:  You spend way more time engaging this student than any other – his attention is all over the map and he is not able to participate without reminders and prompts.  Special education involvement seems essential to you.

4:  This student makes you very uncomfortable.  He says very morbid things and repeats himself constantly.  His parents let him play violent video games which he repeats for hours.  Quite honestly – you don’t want him in your class, not that you can say that…

5:  This student needs discipline and some limit-setting!  You feel like he’d be more able to learn if he had some predictability in his young life.  You don’t think he’s disabled – you are concerned he’s not well-cared for.

6:  You LOVE this kid and it breaks your heart to see him over his head all the time.  You don’t want his parents to worry, so you haven’t been telling them every little thing…your challenge today is to tell them your concerns without making them feel badly. 

School Psychologist:

1:  You have observed this student in many different situations and you’re pretty sure he’s got autism.  Some other possibilities are certainly worth examining.  You think an evaluation is a good idea and would like to see the team consider autism, adhd and/or depression.

2:  You’ve talked to his teachers and you do this an educational eval is a good next step.  You are wondering about a learning disability more than ASD, but are willing to look into all of it.

3:  You love this kid and want him to get the help he needs before he moves on to middle school.

4:  You are exhausted and overwhelmed by a huge caseload!  When you see Reggie, you think of all of the other kids who are REALLY struggling.  You think everyone else is over-reacting.

5:  In addition to the overall idea of pursuing an educational evaluation, you are also worried about some of the verbal threats you’ve heard Reggie make recently.  You want to be sure the team examines mental health and does a safety check.  You also need to let the parents know about these recent concerns.

6:  You’ve barely met this kid and you’ve never met his parents.  You just found out about this meeting yesterday.  You can bring up the need for further testing, but if they ask you about his behavior – you’ll have to punt the question to someone else. 

 

WORKSHOP ACTIVITY:  HOME-SCHOOL COLLABORATION GAME

SITUATION:

Dominic is a 9th grader who has been receiving special education services under the Speech-Language eligibility for most of his school career.  The School Psychologist and Speech-Language Pathologist have raised concerns that the may have autism.  The parents gave the team permission to evaluate.  This is the meeting where those test results will be shared with the parents.

PLAYERS: 4

MOM

DAD

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST

TO PLAY:

  1. Identify 1 member of your group to be the Scene Director.This person’s responsibility is to oversee that your group follows these instructions.Only the Scene Director has access to the information in the envelope marked “SCRIPT NOTES”.Give this envelope to the Scene Director now.

  2. Each Actor picks a card from the Role Deck and displays it on his/her name tag.

  3. The Scene Director opens the “SCRIPT NOTES” and finds 1 page for each role in the scene.The Scene Director asks each Actor to roll one of the dice to determine which of 6 possible attitudes/dispositions/perspectives the Actor will try to incorporate during the enactment of the scene.Only the Actor and the Screen Director know the attitude the Actor will be adopting.

  4. Once all Actors know their attitude, the Scene Director will set-up the role play and initiate the scene by reading the situation out loud …and….ACTION!

Mid-play:  try to maintain the scene for at least 10 minutes

DEBRIEF:

For Actors

  1. Describe how you felt in this particular role under these circumstances.What was challenging or frustrating to you?

For Observers

  1. If you (in real life) could have changed the attitude or approach of anyone in this scene – whose would it be and how would you want it to change?

  2. Who did you empathize with in this scene, and why?

    For Everyone: 

  3. Compare and contrast this scene with your real-life work experience.

 

SCRIPT NOTES:  DOMINIC SCENE

Each Actor will roll one die, thus determining which of the 6 possible descriptors is in operation for their character for this scene.  Please only share the descriptor with the Actor.

Mother:

1:  You’ve known for a long time that something is different about Dominic.  Time to find out what it is and move forward.  You are resigned, down-to-earth, even-keeled about this, though also sad. 

2:  You feel very sad to think that Dominic could have something as serious as autism.  You feel really badly that you didn’t look more deeply sooner…

3:  You can’t imagine that Dominic has autism.  He’s just not trying.  You’re pretty frustrated with him.

4:  You are Dominic’s step-mom.  You’ve been married to his dad for a year and have known Dom a little longer than that.  You want him to get some help and yet have to tread very lightly as Dom’s biological parents do not see the developmental gaps that you see.

5:  You are incredibly nervous to be in this meeting. Your nervousness comes out by talking a lot and going on tangents.  It’s hard for you to listen to what others are saying, even though you know its important. 

6:  You’re angry.  Your attitude is that these public school people have no idea what they’re doing.  You just want to pull him out and send him to a private school.

Father:

1:  You kind of expect to hear Dom’s got autism. You are calm, even-keeled, open to trying something to figure out how to help Dominic.

2:  You are very business-like and ask questions in a respectful manner.  You seem particularly concerned about avoiding a label – you’d like to see your son get help, but don’t want it documented anywhere. (you are worried it will compromise your son’s future).

3:  You are nervous and express it by talking a lot, interrupting others, and de-railing the conversation.  You fidget a lot and are restless and uncomfortable in the meeting.  You aren’t doing this to be difficult – you love your kid – you just feel so overwhelmed and chaotic inside; there’s something wrong with him. What if he’s just like you?

4:  You are worried about your wife – she tries so hard. You are worried about your son – it’s hard to see him lonely.  You have no idea what to do or how to help.  You respect the school team, but you’re not hopeful things will get better.

5:  You feel embarrassed and kind of guilty.  Your son is just like you – everybody always said so – he’s just a little quirky, that’s all.  In your opinion, everyone should just relax – he’s fine.

6:  You are a very busy man. Busy, busy, busy.  You view Dominic as not trying as hard as he could.  His lack of stamina embarrasses you.  You’d like to see this whole matter handled quickly, efficiently.

Speech-Language Pathologist:

1:  You are the first person to report any concerns about Dominic.  You see signs of autism and worry that his parents have expectations for him that are not realistic.  You’d like to see him identified so that he could get some help.

2:  You LOVE this kid and it breaks your heart to see him over his head all the time.  You don’t want his parents to worry, so you haven’t been telling them every little thing…your challenge today is to tell them your concerns without making them feel badly. 

3:  You truly believe Dominic has a significant problem in social-communication – more than language. You hope you can explain this to his parents today.

4:  Even though you thought it was autism before, you’re not sure now.  Your recent testing showed a significant receptive language disorder, but you haven’t had a chance to tell anyone on the team yet.  You’re not sure if he has autism and this language problem or if the language problem alone could account for his difficulties.

5:  You are very worried about some of the morbid things Dominic has been saying lately. You feel like you need to tell his parents as he is making some pretty intense verbal threats.

6: You know Dominic pretty well and you feel like it’s important that someone talk to him about the evaluation and the findings.  You plan to bring this up in today’s meeting.

School Psychologist:

If you roll an even number:  the evaluation findings suggest that Dominic has autism.

If you roll an odd number:  the findings suggest it isn’t autism.  Specifically:

1 = speech-language impairment with some attentional issues

3 = learning disability

5 = emotional/behavioral concerns – specifically depression in addition to his language difficulties

Please proceed through the scene to share this finding.

 

SITUATION:

Rachel is a 1st grader who was previously identified for special education services as a Preschooler with a Disability.  The ED ID Team started the educational evaluation and gathered observational data that is consistent with ASD.  The goal of the meeting is to share these observations with Rachel’s parents and make a plan for further evaluation.  This is the first time the parents will hear that autism is on the table.

PLAYERS: 4

MOM

DAD

SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGIST

SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER

TO PLAY:

  1. Identify 1 member of your group to be the Scene Director.This person’s responsibility is to oversee that your group follows these instructions.Only the Scene Director has access to the information in the envelope marked “SCRIPT NOTES”.Give this envelope to the Scene Director now.

  2. Each Actor picks a card from the Role Deck and displays it on his/her name tag.

  3. The Scene Director opens the “SCRIPT NOTES” and finds 1 page for each role in the scene.The Scene Director asks each Actor to roll one of the dice to determine which of 6 possible attitudes/dispositions/perspectives the Actor will try to incorporate during the enactment of the scene.Only the Actor and the Screen Director know the attitude the Actor will be adopting.

  4. Once all Actors know their attitude, the Scene Director will set-up the role play and initiate the scene by reading the situation out loud …and….ACTION!

Mid-play:  try to maintain the scene for at least 10 minutes

DEBRIEF:

For Actors

  1. Describe how you felt in this particular role under these circumstances.What was challenging or frustrating to you?

For Observers

  1. If you (in real life) could have changed the attitude or approach of anyone in this scene – whose would it be and how would you want it to change?

  2. Who did you empathize with in this scene, and why?

For Everyone: 

  1. Compare and contrast this scene with your real-life work experience.

 

SCRIPT NOTES:  RACHEL SCENE

Each Actor will roll one die, thus determining which of the 6 possible descriptors is in operation for their character for this scene.  Please only share the descriptor with the Actor.

Mother:

1:  You’ve known for a long time that something is different about Rachel.  Time to find out what it is and move forward.  You are resigned, down-to-earth, even-keeled about this, though also sad. 

2:  You feel very sad to think that Rachel could have something as serious as autism.  You feel really badly that you didn’t look more deeply sooner…

3:  You can’t imagine that Rachel has autism.  She’s just not trying.  You’re pretty frustrated with her.

4:  You are Rachel’s step-mom.  You’ve been married to her dad for a year and have know Rachel a little longer than that.  You want her to get some help and yet have to tread very lightly as Rachel’s biological parents do not see the developmental gaps that you see.

5:  You are incredibly nervous to be in this meeting. Your nervousness comes out by talking a lot and going on tangents.  It’s hard for you to listen to what others are saying, even though you know its important. 

6:  You’re angry.  Your attitude is that these public school people have no idea what they’re doing.  You just want to pull her out and send her to a private school.

Father:

1:  You kind of expect to hear Rachel’s got autism. You are calm, even-keeled, open to trying something to figure out how to help Rachel.

2:  You are very business-like and ask questions in a respectful manner.  You seem particularly concerned about avoiding a label – you’d like to see your daughter get help, but don’t want it documented anywhere. (you are worried it will compromise your child’s future).

3:  You are nervous and express it by talking a lot, interrupting others, and de-railing the conversation.  You fidget a lot and are restless and uncomfortable in the meeting.  You aren’t doing this to be difficult – you love your kid – you just feel so overwhelmed and chaotic inside; there’s something wrong with her. What if she’s just like you?

4:  You are worried about your wife – she tries so hard. You are worried about your daughter– it’s hard to see her struggle.  You have no idea what to do or how to help.  You respect the school team, but you’re not hopeful things will get better.

5:  You feel embarrassed and kind of guilty.  Your daughter is just like you – everybody always said so – she’s just a little quirky, that’s all.  In your opinion, everyone should just relax – she’s fine.

6:  You are a very busy man. Busy, busy, busy.  You view Rachel as not trying as hard as she could.  Her lack of stamina embarrasses you.  You’d like to see this whole matter handled quickly, efficiently.

Special Education Teacher:

If you roll an even number:  make a list of 5 social features of autism you might see in a 1st grader in regular school activities.  This is what you will share in the meeting today.

If you roll an odd number:  make a list of 5 communication features consistent with autism that you might see in a 1st grader in regular school activities.  This is what you will share in the meeting today.

School Psychologist:

If you roll an even number:  make a list of 5 repetitive behaviors and/or play behaviors that are consistent autism in a 1st grader in regular school activities.  This is what you will share in the meeting today.

If you roll an odd number:  make a list of 5 social features consistent with autism that you might see in a 1st grader in regular school activities.  This is what you will share in the meeting today.