Help Students Understand What Sorry Means

Do you have students who say they are sorry all the time, but don't truly understand what sorry means? Do you have students who say they are sorry, but keep doing what they apologized for? Here is a great alternative to teach students along with visuals to support learning. 

Understanding what it means to be sorry can be an abstract concept for students with autism and other related disabilities. Here is an approach with visuals to help break it down and make it meaningful for students.



I recently attended a conference about anxiety and behavior. While the whole conference was good, what the speaker said about students saying they were sorry really stuck with me. He recommended to teach students to ask the person they wronged how to make it better instead of just saying they were sorry. I loved this! Year after year, I have students who have been trained to say sorry for accidents, after hurting someone, bumping into a peer, etc. They say "sorry" without truly understanding why they said it or what it means. Many times, it doesn't change their behavior either.

While I LOVED this idea, not all of my students have the language needed to tell a peer how they can make it better or pose the question to another person. To help my students understand this and be able to respond, I made choice boards for both sides of the conversation.

For the students who need to ask a peer how they can make it better, I use these strips. 

Understanding what it means to be sorry can be an abstract concept for students with autism and other related disabilities. Here is an approach with visuals to help break it down and make it meaningful for students.


For students who need to respond to the question, we use this choice board

Understanding what it means to be sorry can be an abstract concept for students with autism and other related disabilities. Here is an approach with visuals to help break it down and make it meaningful for students.

We just started it, but it has already started to click with some of my students. These visuals and approach have certainly helped it be more meaningful for my students!! Click HERE to download these visual supports.


Understanding what it means to be sorry can be an abstract concept for students with autism and other related disabilities. Here is an approach with visuals to help break it down and make it meaningful for students.


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