With our twice exceptional students, we like to use a more sophisticated approach to our social cognitive lessons. Something that I have found not to be UNCOMMON with this population is a struggle in the area of friendships. But often, of course, they do not see that, and when they are confronted with this reality they often claim, “I don’t care” or “I really don’t need or want friends”. This many times is an unconscious effort to spare more hurt feelings after probably several years of trying to make friends unsuccessfully. Can you blame them? So using this approach, we tell our kiddos that this is a phenomena called Defense Mechanisms. These are unconscious but put into place
to deal with anxiety or fear producing situations . We then also teach about the role of Coping Skills, as being helpful in that they provide relief to a situation and allow you to learn and grow. We talk mostly about the defense mechanism of DENIAL, as that is what we see our students struggle with. I find this sort of back-pocket approach tends to take the edge off my student and allow the conversation to open about this.