Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Best-Ever Books for Social Skills: You Get What You Get

Ever have a child that whines if he didn't get to be first?

Or she pouts when she didn't get the color crayon she wanted or didn't win the game? Yup, you know the one I'm talking about. You need this adorable book by Julie Gassman, You Get What You Get. (and you don't throw a fit).

Best-Ever Books for Speech Therapy! This adorable story is terrific for teaching social skills in speech therapy. Melvin doesn't always deal with disappointment well. Until he learns about this terrible rule... read this blog post to learn more!  #speechsprouts #socialskills #speechtherapy #storybooks

This is one the best-ever books for teaching acceptance that we can't always get exactly what we want.

Melvin is a young squirrel who doesn't deal well with disappointment. If he doesn't get enough chocolate chips in his cookie or loses his turn in a game, watch out! It's full-on meltdown time. 

When Melvin starts school, he finds out he really hates his teacher's favorite rule: You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!

Because of this terrible rule, Melvin can't throw a fit at school if he's last in line, or has to use crayons instead of markers.

But at least his family doesn't know about this awful rule. Until...he accidentally lets it slip!

Much to Melvin's dismay, his astounded family is delighted when they learn about the rule. And there is no going back. 

Now the rule applies at home too. He can't stomp his feet, shout or flail around. Nope. Not even when his sister wants to watch a show he doesn't. Because, well...you know. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit. 

You Get What You Get and You Don't Throw a Fit is the start of a great social skills lesson.

We read the book and I ask my students, have you ever seen someone who acts like that when they didn't get what they wanted? They always nod yes, and tell tales of other students. (Even if they've been known to throw fits themselves!) 

Of course, just like Melvin, some children struggle with handling disappointment more than others.  

The result can be lots of negative consequences and sometimes even social isolation as peers lose patience or become annoyed with crying and whining. 

Talking about Melvin's squirrelly behavior make it non-threatening to discuss, rather than talking about the student's own behavior.

So we dive in a bit deeper. Can everyone be first in line? Win the game? Sit in a certain spot? Play with that favorite toy? No, it's just not possible, is it?

So we make lists.
  1. We list situations where a child might feel disappointed. 
  2. We list inappropriate ways to react. Oh, no! We would never behave that way. Why not? 
  3. We talk about and list social consequences. Teachers get mad when you are interrupting the class and you get in trouble. Maybe you lose a privilege. Friends won't want to play a game with you if they know you'll throw a fit. 
  4. What should we do instead?
A great way to wrap up the lesson is to have the children draw a child (or a squirrel!) throwing a fit over something, then have them draw what they might have done instead. 

I am always looking for great speech therapy books, so leave a comment if you have a favorite!

I hope you get a chance to read You Get What You Get with your students. I think you'll love it.

Until next time my friends, 


  1. Thanks for the info on this book. I am looking forward to using it with my students.

  2. You're so welcome Nancy. I hope you enjoy it, my students just loved when Melvin was having a "fit!"