The Happy Plan: Strategies to reduce Anxiety
Are your students experiencing meltdowns due to sensory overload, social anxiety, or unmet physical needs from the hustle and bustle of school? Everyone has feelings of frustration, agitation, and anxiety. Some students learn to cope while others become crippled by these feelings. Join the Mrs. Hansen’s class in this social story to learn how to develop a plan to identify triggers and stay HAPPY at school. Mrs. Hansen gives 5 simple steps to avoid meltdowns and stay HAPPY in the instructional story. Then your students can fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and feelings in the personalized version. The instructional story uses real life scenarios intended to prompt your student to verbalize their feelings and anxieties in social and sensory overload settings. We recommend you allow students to speak freely during this exercise so you can create effective plans. NOTE: This story uses similar strategies as Harrison's Holiday Plan.
This unit includes:
★ The Happy Plan Instructional Version
★ The Happy Plan Personalized Version with fill-in-the-blanks
★ Strategy Posters for classroom wall, desk, locker, or to send home
★ 2 Strategy Planning Guides
★ Finger Games
★ Reminder HAPPY Bracelets
★ Letter to Parents
Table of Contents:
Page 1: Unit Cover page
Page 2-13: The Happy Plan Social Story (Instructional Version)
Page 14-26: MY Happy Plan Social Story (Personalized fill-in-the-blank Version)
Page 27: Letter with ideas to Teachers and Parents
Page 28: The Happy Plan Poster
Page 29: Finger Games
Page 30: Happy Reminder bracelets
Page 31-32: Strategy Guide
Page 33: Thanks and Credits
Recommendations for using this unit:
Print and put in sleeve protectors. Keep in a 3-ring binder. To save ink and paper you could project the instructional version (wall, white board, smartboard, promethean board, etc.) for whole group instruction. Or print 4/page and make mini books.
After reading the instructional version, guide the student through customizing a book by filling-in-the-blanks with their own thoughts and feelings. Make a copy to send home so parents know what strategies kids are learning.
post somewhere visible to remind your student even when you are not around or print 4/page, laminate, and use as a desk. These strategy posters can rotate from teacher to teacher and be sent home to keep everyone who works with your child on the same page. Consistency across settings will help a child thrive.
We suggest using these worksheets as a discussion guide where the teacher asks the questions and acts as a scribe for a child, helping them formulate a plan. Often, it’s easier for a child to articulate their thoughts without the pressure of trying to craft them into sentences, especially if writing is difficult. Include the parents in formulating the plan since they will play a huge part in carrying out the plan.
Cut in strips. Wrap loosely around child’s wrist or backpack, then glue with colored stripes overlapping to appropriate size.
Sometimes, kids will feel anxious, but they don’t have their stress ball, weighted blanket, visualizer, or other tools, but they will always have their fingers with them. Teach these games so students always have a tool with them.
More SOCIAL STORIES:
→ Personal Space: 2 units in one
Social Story: "Personal Space"- two social stories in one unit
→ Personal Space Invader and Protector Games
Personal Space Invader and Protector Games
→ Social Story Unit: Changes in Routine - It's Different Today
Social Story Unit: Changes in Routine - It's Different Today
→ Flexibility when Plans Change
Social Story: Flexibility When Plans Change - a complete unit
→ Social Story: Use Words instead of Hitting, Kicking, Biting, or Pulling Hair
Social Story: Use Words instead of Hitting, Kicking, Biting, or Pulling Hair