By: Kati Berlin, OTR/L
Does your child say everything they think without regard for other peoples’ feelings? That’s what RJ does in Julia Cook’s book, “I Can’t Believe You Said That.” He says anything he thinks out loud and ends up making other people feel sad and uncomfortable. Then RJ’s parents teach him about using a social filter, while reinforcing the idea that we don’t have to say everything that we think. RJ learns that he can still think any of his thoughts, but he needs to consider how sharing those thoughts, will affect others.
When teaching this skill, it can be helpful to make the connection that some topics are private and should only be shared with close family. Other topics are for friends, while some are universal and can be discussed with anyone. This can be a challenging idea for kids with social skills delays or kids who have an Autism Spectrum diagnosis. This book is recommended for kids in elementary school to middle school, depending on their cognitive level and understanding of social interactions.