You may find familiar, the images of two straight lines (of equal length) and a candlestick or wine glass (or two faces) show us that things are often not as they first seem, and there’s almost always a different PERSPECTIVE.
In forming our perspective, we often consider the situation or event as well as interpret what other people say and do. We also use our own set of past experiences, culture, faith, values, all of which help us form our beliefs about ourselves, about others, and about the world in general.
Hence, perspective-taking refers to a person’s ability to see the situation from a different point of view. It requires you to put yourself in the other person’s position and imagine what you would feel, think, or do if you were in that situation.
Every person has their own way of looking at things. Even when we speak the same language, we can misunderstand each other because we can’t see into other people’s minds and hearts. You can never assume you totally understand another person or assume they understand you completely. What follows is a war of words or feelings- imminent conflicts! We interpret the actions of others through the lens of our own perspective, not theirs. As a result, we misunderstand their intentions, conclude they are being unreasonable or rude and enter into conflict with them.
We all have our own realities. Anais Nin said:
“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”
On the other hand, when we are able to imagine a situation from someone else’s perspective and exhibit empathy, we can gain a better understanding of someone else’s motives or change our own behavior so we don’t offend someone.So, you just sort out your life better !
When one analyses the social skills of children with learning difficulties or those on the ASD spectrum, it is considered to be deficient. One of the primary reasons responsible for this happens to be their inability to see the “the other side”.
Yes! It is very much possible to teach a child to take the perspective of others. Here are some suggested activities that can be done to improve a child’s ability to take another’s perspective.
Children can be made to draw the five basic emotions of happy, sad, angry, scared and surprised .
Having the kids draw something from someone else’s perspective is an idea which can be incredibly helpful in improving the social thinking of the kids. Encourage and provide cues to the kids to think and explore about how would an ant see your shoe or a toy on the playground? How might a bird see the same thing? You could also simply have them draw how another person would see something sitting on a different chair!
Students sit back to back. One student describes a picture he is drawing, and the other has to try and replicate it on his own paper just by following the verbal instructions. This requires the first kid to recognize that the second one doesn’t know anything about the picture other than what he tells him.
One can draw a squiggle on a piece of paper and hand it over the child asking them to complete the picture. A teacher or therapist can model when introducing the activity. Everyone usually sees a different possibility within the same squiggle..
Another idea to teach perspective skills is to have the kids draw how others see them. Or have them draw their own portrait, then switch glasses with someone else and pretend to be that person. The glasses can be labelled with different names (If photos can be added too, it would be great!).There are really a lot of possibilities here.
Kids are familiar with the difference between thought bubbles and speech bubbles in comics or cartoons. But they can be further explained that a speech bubble contains words that are spoken aloud, while a thought bubble contains words, ideas, or pictures that are in someone’s brain. No one else can see or hear them. For that reason, we are able to think anything we want—even if it’s angry or mean—but if we say our thoughts out loud, sometimes we can get into trouble!
Have the kids draw write in the speech bubble (or have the child write) something they said to someone else that was maybe thoughtless or hurtful or rude. Then have them draw the thought bubble to think and write about what sorts of things the other person might have been thinking.
In the next step, we can ask the child to erase and do it again, but this time writing something more appropriate or kind in the speech bubble. This gets the kids thinking if the other person’s thoughts would change. In this whole process, various feelings and facial expressions (the non- verbal component of communication) are also identified and labeled by the child.
Have fun with these suggested activities! And I am sure you would be very pleasantly surprised by the different and amazing perspectives that may come from your child!
Paper on “An eye-gaze and perspective-taking learning game for children with autism spectrum disorder ( Vesa Korhonen, Marjo Virnes)
www.schoolcounselingfiles.com/activities-for-kids-on-the-autism-spectrum.html(2013-2016 Laurie P. Mendoza)