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The Sixth Sense II by Carol Gray

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This book is a lesson plan to be used with children in a general education classroom that has a student with an autism spectrum disorder.  It begins by asking the children to name the 5 senses.  Then it discusses what you would do to help people who had a disability with one of those 5 senses.  From there the book discusses the idea that we also have a sixth sense, which is our social sense.  Just like nobody taught us how to smell or see, nobody taught us how to have perspective taking or read the emotions of others.  There are some interesting activities that are very useful in helping children understand how perspective taking is usually automatic but also a very important skill to have. 

After the discussion of the social sense, the lesson then helps guide the students in learning things they can do to help the child in the class with the social sense.  It also provides an information page that each child in the class can fill out to create a book that the child with an ASD can look at to learn more about his or her classmates. 

At the end of the book is an appendix that answers some questions about using the book.  There is also some good information about when to share a diagnosis with your child and how you should present this lesson plan. 

I have used this book to train teachers and presented in a general education classroom.  Ideally, the general education teacher would be the best one to teach this lesson.  The teacher has a better rapport with the students and may be able get a more frank discussion going.  The teacher is also in a better situation to make sure that there is a follow through after the lesson has been taught.  I have found that most students enjoy this lesson and will try harder to befriend a child with ASD in the classroom. 

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