The above video is assumedly created with a positive heart. Certainly, we all think bullying is a problem. We may have differing opinions on what constitutes bullying, but that's a whole other post. This video shows kids being bullied, all the while singing about how one day they will be the bosses of the bullies, and will not give them raises, promotions or nice treatment in general.
A few thoughts, however...
People should not be given the message that the reason we shouldn't bully is because one day, the victim might bully you back. That's not why we shouldn't bully. That's a self-centred, "what is in it for me" attitude, and if the reason a kid stops bullying another is because one day he might be his boss, then something is wrong there. He/she should stop bullying because of his/her own internal motivation to simply be a nice person, to build his self-concept and self-esteem, not so people will treat him/her better, but to increase his/her own feelings of self-worth.
We shouldn't be taught to seek revenge. It goes against the idea shared before that we should be creating an anti-bullying CULTURE, not CURRICULUM.
Bullying is defined as the use of force, threat or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or impose domination over another, which is repeated and habitual. Are we thus saying that this is ok if it is your boss treating you this way? Are we excusing it if your boss was bullied as a child, or if you were mean to someone when YOU were younger?
We should be teaching kids to reinforce each other for supporting each other, for standing up for each other, and for not laughing along or remaining silent when witnessing mean or disrespectful behaviour. We should be modelling HOW to stand up for each other by NOT being silent when witnessing a mean or disrespectful act. We should look within ourselves and determine our own sources of discontent when making defensive or retaliatory remarks about others in front of our children or peers, and stop to try to understand the other point of view. In doing so, we teach others to do the same. Make it cool to stop fighting because it's simply a better world when we get along, not because the person might one day retaliate or seek revenge.
On that note, the efforts of the video maker are very much applauded. It brings in humour to reach a wide audience who doesn't simply want to be preached to, and is trying wholeheartedly to get a message across to those who are bullying by imagining what might motivate them to STOP bullying. Hopefully, the message that gets out there is that there is no long term benefit to bullying (and the whole karmic what-goes-around-comes-around message), empathy for the underdog, and certainly the "it gets better" message, which is such a strong message.
I leave you with that message as well (below). There are some wonderful messages as part of this campaign (The It Gets Better Project), but this one is powerful. We can't always change the problem overnight, but we can provide support to those who are victims of bullying (and there are many individuals and populations that are at higher risk), and both the videos included here shed light on the big picture - that nothing lasts, and that wonderful things are yet to come.
There is an earlier post in this blog about where to download free visual supports and how to copy/paste/print them for your own use. However, there are many more freebies available online, with more added every day. This outlines some of them, and what they have to offer.
First, I will repeat some of the links previously discussed, as they are fantastic resources that should be shared and used regularly:
Individually created visuals that you can open and print and share to your heart's content. Content is growing regularly, and watch for an upcoming app, where even more will become available in a simpler format.
Geneva Centre for Autism's Visuals Bank is a great resource, full of excellent printable visuals from their well-known workshops, and a collection of videos of autism experts demonstrating / discussing how to use them.
Do2learn provides thousands of free pages with social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.
CurriculumSET is a collection of resources that facilitate the sharing of customized technology-based content among educators working with students who use assistive technology. This searchable database enables educators to find, download, and customize activities, templates and public domain accessible books based on the ten areas of the curriculum as set out by the BC Ministry of Education.
PictureSET is a collection of downloadable visual supports that can be used by students for both receptive and expressive communication in the classroom, at home, and in the community. This searchable database allows you to find a wide range of useful visual supports for different curriculum areas, activities, and events.
While there are lots of visuals out there, remember to individualize yours to meet the needs and learning style of your child.
Here are some other great gems from the internet...again, all free!
ABA Data Sheets
An effective education program must continually be evaluated. Keeping good records is a great way to make sure that everyone who spends time with a child is encouraging and reinforcing the same behaviours. Each Activity Data Sheet gives condensed instructions for performing the activity, provides space to record the child’s performance, and has an area for notes. The data sheets are reproducible.
Public Information Sheets and Kits
The centre for disease control offers a variety of information sheets from screening to prevalence to early signs in different languages.
Autism Ontario hosts a variety of online publications and reports, videos (ok, these aren't free but are fabulous resources), and articles, and tear-off pads for professionals (doctor's offices, public health units, ELKP teachers, and so on) to offer information about early signs of autism.
Autism Parent Resource Kit: A comprehensive resource for families to better understand autism and the range of services and supports available in Ontario. The ministry talked to families and caregivers of children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder across the province to develop the content in this kit, and invites ideas, information and feedback from you, too.
Free videos, a great book list, a free physician handbook, a link to Autism Canada's Service Junction (a very comprehensive and searchable listing of services across Canada), and a listing of educational programs for those pursuing careers in the field of autism).
Free Materials, Activities, and Ideas
Both these links, via Building Blox, offer great ideas and downloadable materials to create some fantastic teaching material
And finally, some detailed tax information, just one day too late (sorry - but use this information to start collecting the information you need for next year's taxes!)
Tax information on what types of therapies and tax deductible (shameless self-promotion: Full Spectrum Learning provides psychologist-supervised programs in Sault Ste Marie in partnership with Emerging Minds).
Hopefully, you get some good resources out of this. Please comment below if you are aware of quality, useful (and FREE) resources on the internet, including a link and brief description. Share, share, share!
Casey Burgess has a B.Sc.in Psychology, an M.A. in Education (Curriculum and Instruction), and a Ph.D. in progress in Education (Cognition and Learning). She has 20 years experience with direct service, curriculum development, workshop facilitation, and supervisory experience supporting children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders, and their families. She currently frames her work using a developmental, relationship-based, self-regulation lens.