Sometimes when I am having a hard day at work, I think to myself “What would Beyonce do?” To me, Beyonce just has everything together and can navigate any stressful situation flawlessly! I just picture her knocking out some emails and making those tough phone calls without even having a spike in anxiety.
Now imagine how some of our students with autism feel when they deal with potential stressors. Luckily for us, kids with autism typically have that ONE THING that they are obsessed with, like “Pokemon” or dinosaurs — maybe even Beyonce! When these potential stressful situations are predictable, that is when power cards can be super impactful.
Power cards are a visual strategy that uses a child’s special interest or favorite character, celebrity or person to help make sense of social situations, routines, the meaning of language and the unwritten social rules.
For example, maybe a child you are working with is having difficulty with bedtime routines at home. If this particular child is obsessed with firemen, then having mom review the card with the student to prep him for bedtime can help ease that time period. The child should always have the card in his vicinity. After a while, the recitation of the card should be faded back and the child should use the card as needed.
This strategy is also effective for social skills!
Try this amazing strategy with some of the students in your life. A free template is available here