LifeFacts: Smart Trust

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“I enjoy using the [LifeFacts]. I can pick and choose the lessons I feel are appropriate for my students.” -Joanne Birnberf, Teacher

This edition of LifeFacts Social Skills Activities teaches your students smart strategies to identify when to offer trust, and when not to. Present critical skills to help your students avoid exploitation.

Provide your students with all the materials and information necessary to understand how to determine if trusting another person is a safe decision. Help your students avoid being gullible to financial, social, physical, and emotional exploitation by teaching them strategies to identify and when to offer trust and when not to. You’ll cover the types of exploitation to which students with special needs are particularly vulnerable.

Part 1: Trust & Gullibility

In this section your students will meet “Gullible Gus.” Gus is a well meaning but much too trusting teenager who is easily taken by people who exploit his gullibility. This lesson illustrates the dangers of being gullible and establishes the need for “SmartTrust.”

Part 2: Practicing SmartTrust

In this section you’ll define “SmartTrust” and teach your students the four questions to ask before deciding to trust. Your students will learn to apply specific criteria to: 1) decide to trust, 2) decide with caution, or 3) decide not to. Your students will practice using these criteria in a variety of situations including bullying, financial trickery, physical and emotional abuse, and more. Your students will also learn how to apply the this criteria when deciding to trust salespeople and service providers in the community. They’ll learn to recognize common “compliance or persuasion traps” used by salespeople and how to defend against them.