TAP Tip Sheet - Magic Statements

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The Autism Program of Illinois Tip Sheet - Magic Statements

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TAP Tip Sheet - Magic Statements

  1. 1. Autism Spectrum DisordersTips & Resources Tip Sheet 23 Magic Statements A simple, practical way to use language to prevent, minimize or de-escalate conflicts with your child.• “We’ll try again later.” For times when you withdraw a positive consequence (ask kids to sit somewhere else, stop reading the story). This keeps the door open for kids to try again and make better choices at a later time.• “This isn’t working.” An excellent way to interrupt disruptive or off-task behavior without attacking or criticizing.• “I know you wish you could…” Validates your child’s desire to do something (stay up later, eat dessert, go to a friend’s house) when that option is not available or not negotiable.• “That won’t work for me right now.” A simple, non-attacking way to decline your child’s suggestion when they propose something inappropriate or not possible. You can validate the worth of the proposal (“Interesting idea” or “Oh, that does sound like it would be fun”) and, if appropriate, even offer to look for opportunities to try that in the future.• “Can you think of a solution that will work for both of us?” Transfers responsibility to a dissatisfied child to find a solution that will work for him and for you (and not become a problem for anyone else).• “Can you live with that?” A way to affirm your child’ commitment after you have come to an agreement.• “We don’t say that here.” Non-attacking response to hurtful or offensive language.• “We don’t need to talk about that.” A way to disengage from heated or toxic interchanges.Rev.0612Adapted from “Magic” Sentences by Jane Bluestein, Ph.D.Prepared by: The TAP Center at The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign www.theautismprogram.org

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