Students with visual impairments often have an uphill battle learning how to navigate relationships with their peers and adults in the community.
Recently, A Speech Language Pathologist introduced me to the Social Detective Book+ App by Marcia Garcia Winner, Speech Language Pathologist when one of my secondary students with low vision experienced a myriad of social issues.
We needed a dynamic approach that helped this particular student understand how he problem solved and thought socially.
So we began exploring the Social Detective Book and App to support our exploration
There were definite pros and cons to using this app+curriculum
- The Social Detective App teaches students ages 6 and Up about “Expected and Unexpected “ behavior in a variety of real life situations in school and in the community, with peers and adults
- Teaches skills in a way that is developmentally appropriate to the way students engage socially
- Informs students of their tools box on their body (eyes, ears and brain) that can help them determine what might be expected and unexpected behavior to many real life situations.
- My students ages 8-16 really enjoyed the curriculum and found the lessons practical to real life situations they face.
- This curriculum and app not take into account how students with visual impairments have limited access to using their “eyes” as a social tool to figure out what behavior is expected or unexpected based on visual social cues.
- The app is very visual in context. The videos that it uses to teach students about social cues is using visual cues.
How Teachers of the Visually Impaired Can Use the App and Curriculum
- Remove the “eyes” portion of the instructions and teach students to use their sense of hearing and socially appropriate touch as tools pertinent to them.
- Consider using the videos and visual content as a reference for what your students with visual impairments could do in a group dynamic. Student could each have a role to play and act out the scenarios while other students watch/listen to determine what was expected/unexpected behavior and what tools they could use to determine how to make a social decisions.
My two cents
Overall, this is a great curriculum and app that my students with visual impairments really valued and learned quite a bit from. The app and curriculum requires quite a bit of adaptation for me but it was worth the effort since my student’s level of engagement and real life application was so high.
You can purchase the book “You Are A Social Detective” Book and Apps here.