A neutral response cheat sheet

how I get Belle through a social (theory of mind) glitch (she’s mad at someone for something she perceives they did) by using facts, neutral (matter of fact) statements, I statements, positive expectations, and moving forward.
If I hear– “that lady was mean, she yelled at me and looked at me sternly”
and I see– a lady doing her job by directing crowds a certain way, or a lady treating Belle like she would a “normal person”, or a lady obviously reacting to something rude Belle has done, or even a grouchy lady, I still try to stay neutral and I do not disagree, argue with, or try to persuade Belle in any way. My comments might be something like-
  • i guess loud voices can hurt your ears (and/ or my ears:)
  • some people do talk very loud when they want to be listened to (or louder than they need to)
  • (this can be risky for you to say, but you can work into it)-that person is talking to everyone very loudly- she’s treating you like you don’t have autism.
  • she doesn’t know how sensitive you are (she likes to hear this)
  • i noticed her stern face too
  • sometimes i whisper when I want to be heard
  • I’m glad I don’t have her job
  • isn’t it funny that most people are ignoring her loud voice
  • i think people would listen better if she smiled and said please
  • well, at least we got across the street safely
  • she’s doing her job the way her boss told her to I guess- this is a dangerous/crowded/confusing area (I try not to give an excuse for her, but the fact that people have to listen to their boss, coach, teacher etc)
  • i’m concerned if you talk rude to her she might say something mean back- that would be embarrassing, let’s get going
  • we’re gonna be late- i can’t wait to get to…… (and then I talk about what fun thing we get to do next)
You can reword any of those to apply to most situations- yes, boys tease girls, yes, this room is crowded, yes, some teachers are bossy to keep discipline in their room, yes, some store owners scold people who touch things etc, etc.

When we’re out of the situation and have some time later we do the perspective taking exercises. 

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