Friday, December 14, 2012

Avoid the Tinkerbell towel: Gift giving perspective taking

Gift giving is a great exercise in perspective taking.  Can your clients think of some things that their parents would like or their siblings?

This is a hard skill for a lot of neurotypical adults such as my husband.  One year, he bought me a child sized Tinkerbell towel at Target.  First of all, I am not a one of those fortunate child sized ladies.  Why would he get me a gift that I can't even wrap around myself?  When he gave it to me, he was so excited because I LOVE Tinkerbell.

Choosing a gift requires you to think about the other person.  It's a great opportunity to use our "people files" by remembering information about people.  Questions to think about when getting a gift

  • How old are they?
  • Are they a boy or a girl?
  • Do they have any hobbies?
  • Have they mentioned that they need or want something?  
  • Who is in there family?
  • Do they have any pets?
  • What about favorite movies, t.v. shows or other special interests?
  • Do you know what they already have?  
  • Is there anything they really DON'T like?
Here is what we are doing next week.  You will need a Sunday Paper chock full of advertisements.  It would be great to have pictures of the child's friends, parents, etc.  I would use a sheet of paper for each gift giving subject.  Starting with first person, have your student or client determine what store would be appropriate for them.  Then they go through the circular and cut out 3-5 items they think the person would want.  

Then you can discuss how to narrow down your options.  Price might be one factor.  You could extend this activity by creating a "budget" and having the student determine where to spend the money or discussing concepts such as greater than/less than.  

I don't expect that my clients (or clearly, my husband) will be able to think of the "perfect" gift so as long as they are in the ball park of an appropriate gift, I would give them credit for it.  What activities are you planning for the holidays?

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