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Using the Helping Hand Handout

It is important for children to know who their safe adults are in their different environments and activities that they do. At school this may be a teacher, education assistant, chaplain, deputy or older student. At a sports club it maybe their coach, the admin lady or another parent. In the community this may be a policeman, security guard etc. Or it may be all of them! It is a good idea to have more than one option so that if someone is busy there is someone else that may be available to help.

How it works?

  1. Download the handout, Helper Hand Handout or get a plain piece of paper and using the child hand draw an outline around their hand with a marker. This can be a great way to personalise the handout!
  2. On the bottom of the handout write down which environment or activity you are doing this for, is it school, soccer, gymnastics, chess club etc.
  3. On each of the fingers (or as many as you need) write down a person who can be a helper for the child in that environment. For children that need it more visual, or you just want to get them more involved, you may print out a picture of each person and stick it on near the finger, or draw a picture of that person (or something that reminds them of that person).
  4. In the last section write out what the strategies are for the helpers to use to help calm the child down. Having a few options allows for the child to choose what they want, also if something doesn’t work/not appropriate for the situation then there are more options. It maybe that the child can go for a drink, do some stretching, play with a slinky or whatever it is that works best for them.
  5. Make a copy of the ‘Helping Hand’ for each person that is on it and give it to the person that is on the page. Where possible you may get your child involved in this discussion to help them understand that this is a go to person. Even better if the child can explain or show the helper the strategies themselves!

Here is a video of us talking about using the Helping Hand