Kimochi’s and Children with Social-Communication Disorders

kimochis-curriculum After 11 years in the field, I finally came across a curriculum that made teaching emotions a fun and positive learning experience. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend a presentation by Diann Grimm, M.A., CCC-SLP, Ed. S. on the Kimochi Curriculum. Kimochis in Japanese mean feelings. The program incorporates Kimochi characters with a pocket to place their Kimochis (emotions). Each Kimochi is a soft pillow with the feelings printed on one side and the corresponding facial expression on the other side. Using the Kimochis in conjunction with the feelings lessons as a part of the curriculum allows the children to learn to identify and express their emotions in a safe and focused manner. It fosters Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) which is a critical adjunct to the Social Thinking ® curriculum proposed by Michelle Garcia Winner. The adorable toys and the fun and child-friendly curriculum is a great way to support positive behavior, self awareness, social awareness, self management, relationship skills and decision making. It appears that some of the early research using this curriculum has shown positive results for children with Social-Emotional Learning difficulties (e.g. children on the Autism Spectrum). In addition, this curriculum has also been used for typical children in general education classrooms. I am so pleased and excited to offer the Kimochi Curriculum as a part of the Social Thinking groups. I think it will be an important piece to the puzzle that addresses the “Feelings-Communication-Behavior link” that Diann Grimm talks about.