Are You Looking for Social Narratives and Other Resources for Grief and Loss?

Are You Looking for Social Narratives and Other Resources for Grief and Loss?

 

When I worked at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, I remember watching a bus load of students heading home on the last day of school.  They were sitting on the bus crying.  That was such a shock to me because I had often watched buses of hearing students leaving for summer break and their attitude was excitement and joy.  When I asked a colleague why the kids were so sad, she said that they were leaving an environment where people communicated with them to an environment where very few. if any family and friends knew sign language.  Those students were going into a communication desert.

Deaf students would lose a family member to death or divorce and often no one in the family was able to talk through with the child what was happening.  All they knew was that someone wasn’t there anymore.

How sad and lonely that must have felt to those children!!!

I also recall a time when a student with cognitive delays broke a bouncy ball and fell hard on the floor.  As she started to cry the teacher went to her and said, “That scared you didn’t it.  You will be ok.  Let’s go over here and get something else to play with.”

The student may not have understood all of the words the teacher was saying, but I could see there was some understanding there that was compassion for her traumatic experience, and she stopped crying.   I used that wonderful example of acknowledging a scary experience and compassion for the child when a student with moderate cognitive delays who was in a wheelchair tipped over.  The student started to cry.  I went to her and helped set her chair upright then said to her, “That scared you didn’t it?  Just be careful not to reach too far and you’ll be ok!”  I said it with compassion and a smile on my face.  She immediately stopped crying.

The lesson I learned was not to forget to communicate with a student who has disabilities in the same way you would communicate with a student who does not have a disability.  Just because they may not understand everything or just because they show emotions differently than other children, doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings and a need for information, compassion and understanding when trauma or tragedy strikes.

For some ideas on how to respond to our students and children who are experiencing grief or loss, take a look!

As I mentioned in the video, if you are a subscriber and want copies of the social narratives I mentioned in the video, make sure I have your email address and I will get you those resources!

You take care and I’ll see you next time!

Carla

 

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