July 14, 2019 @ 7:33 PM

Predicting Problems As a Life Skill: Better Decisions, Better Life!

By: Don D’Amore MA CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

About Me: In addition to working as a full-time Speech Language Pathologist for a large school district for over 25 years, I have also worked at the same time as a part-time SLP in the evenings serving group homes for adult individuals with developmental disabilities.  Much of my work with adults, teens, tweens, and with some of my younger clients involved working on language as a life skill.

Problem-Solving is an essential life skill! Giving your client opportunities to practice with you at making their best daily life decisions, (while also guiding them to making better choices), helps them to learn good decision making on their own! 

Every day our lives present us with situations in which we have to make a decision.  What we decide to do may determine if we get hurt, make a friend, get sick, get in trouble, or any number of possible outcomes which can be either good or bad. Sometimes someone we are helping to teach may have trouble making decisions and predicting problems that may arise. 

We can practice the life skill of predicting problems with our students/clients by presenting potential real-life "problem scenarios" (see examples below), and allowing the client to reflect on the decisions they might make in the scenarios. (Presenting matching illustrations of the scenarios would greatly enhance this activity.) Discussing what the client answers in a positive and encouraging manner will help them to better understand how their decisions work or how they could be improved upon. Thinking about what might happen depending on what we do lets us realize how our choices matter.  We do not need to focus on only the matters of right and wrong, but instead look more at learning from the decisions made and the outcomes they may produce. 

Important life skills commonly involve problems in the areas of Health and Hygiene, Safety, Social Interactions and other important Daily Life skills.

ADDING WH-QUESTIONS:  There is always much to consider with every problem and solution. WH-Type Questions  (Who, What, When Where, Why and How) allow for probing deeper into critical thinking.  The client’s answers give more specific clarification to their understanding. WH-Type questions come up frequently and naturally from these sorts of discussions.  Using Wh-Type questions in the analysis of the scenarios allows for the client to explore the reasons behind the best decision.   Further questions allow us to explore the many scenarios that may arise from our decisions.

Examples Of Using Predicting Problems:
Four Possible Real-Life "Problem Scenario" Examples:
1. Hygiene: What could go wrong with: leaving a pile of dirty wet laundry on your floor?
Additional WH Question Discussion Prompts:
-What might happen if we did this?
-When would it start to smell bad?
-How would we look and feel if we tried to wear those clothes later?
-What could happen to the floor?
-Who would be upset with us if we did this?
-What should we do with the laundry?

-Why is keeping our clothes clean important?

2. Health & Safety: What could go wrong with wearing really tight shoes that do not fit?
Additional WH Question Discussion Prompts:
-What might happen if we did this?
-How would your feet feel after walking in them all day?
-What could happen to our feet if we wore them for a long time?
-Who could help us with fixing this problem?
-Where would we go for a solution?
-What should we do instead?

-Why do we need to take good care of our feet?

3. Health & Safety: What could go wrong with eating off of a dirty dish?
Additional WH Question Discussion Prompts:
-What might be wrong the old food on the dish?
-How might your stomach feel after you eat?
-Who usually cleans the dishes in your home?
-How long can most food be left out of the refrigerator?
-When do we usually wash and put away our dishes?
-Where do you wash the dishes in your house?

4. Social: What could go wrong with: telling lies about your friends?
Additional WH Question Discussion Prompts:
-Who would be upset if you did this?
-How might your friend react towards you if they find out?
-Why is being honest and truthful so important?
-When did this ever happen to you?
-What should you say to your friends if you did do this?

-When has this ever happened to you?

Note: The instructor should consider the ability levels of their client before using any learning program.  The instructor may need to use different or additional prompts at an appropriate level based on their client’s goals and abilities.

For a large set of 84 scenarios which I have personally illustrated (and including additional sugggestions and prompt materials) check out my 61 Page PDF Download set on TpT:

PROBLEM SOLVING ILLUSTRATED! Predicting Life Skill Theme Problems & Questions! (Don D'Amore's TpT)! (On Sale Now!)

Description: PROBLEM SOLVING ILLUSTRATED! Predicting Life Skill Theme Problems & Questions! Using the problem solving predicting theme: "What could go wrong with…"

84 Different Colorful Illustrated Flash Cards!

TWO CARD SIZES INCLUDED: Medium (6 per page) AND LARGE (2 per page)!

61 Total SpeechPages In This Combo Set!

4 HELPER PAGES covering ways to use the materials and discuss the concepts of predicting common problems that occur every day! PLUS: Additional WH-TYPE Question Prompt Suggestions!


OR you can still purchase a Ready-Made Six SpeechPage version of the picture prompts in this Set:

Life Skills Predicting Problems 6B

This Product Ships * HEAT SEALED IN THICK LAMINATE! * 3-Hole Punched For Your Easy Storage! * Colorful and Fun Illustrations! *