I have used these comics to teach things like stranger danger skills/stranger awareness, sensory strategies, interpreting body language, how to deal with bullying, and understanding and respecting personal space. I have used them a lot with kids with autism, but also Down Syndrome, ADHD, and cognitive disability. I have used them in multiple ways including:
1) Creating a situation for a character in panel 1, letting the character point out the problem in panel 2, and then showing an appropriate response that I am trying to teach in panel 3;
2) Creating a situation in panel 1, having the character realize the problem in panel 2, and showing the characters in panel 3 but leaving it blank so the child can come up with a solution;
3) Creating a situation and letting the characters act out a solution, then letting the child tell me if it was a good choice and discussing it.
I almost always use 3 panels in this way: In panel 1 a problem or situation is introduced, in panel 2 the character, often in the thought bubble, lays out what he thinks is the problem or knows about the situation, and in panel 3 he makes a decision and acts.
For instance:Panel 1 - Girl and man with park background. While picking flowers, the girl has wandered a short distance from her family who is having a picnic. Man asks girl to help him find his lost dog.
Panel 2 - Girl considers that she is not supposed to talk to strangers, but the man needs her help.
Panel 3 - I would either show the girl turned around and returning to her family thinking 'just run away, there's nothing to say', or else I would show characters and leave it blank and we would discuss the options the child comes up with. To set up the context, I either type a few sentences before the comic strip or verbally set it up before we read the comic. If we are working on writing also, I may print 2 or 3 blank lines below the comic for them to write a response.
- Make a book of the finished comics.
- Allow the individual to create the story using your comics.
- Leave the comics with the family to discuss with the individual.
- Cut and paste the comic in the middle of a short social type story, to add a fun visual.
- Present a single strip and pick characters to read, then discuss.