Tips For Using The Ask Ed App

Be Prepared

The Ask Ed process can take between 5 to 10 minutes to work through with a child. If the child is angry, Ask Ed helps calm everyone down.
Children experience a wide variety of problems. Sometimes problems you would never expect a child to have will come from 'left field'.
Whatever problem the child reveals, keep working calmly through the Ask Ed process.

All problems discussed by children need to remain confidential. Follow-up with the appropriate authorities may be required due to the nature of the problem disclosed by the child.

Starting Out

Sit next to the child so you can both see the screen clearly.

Read the instructions - you become 'Ed's voice'. The child needs 'think time' as they work through the process.
Offer to type the problem and the ideas. This allows the child to concentrate on getting their thoughts sorted and to verbalise their thinking. Some older children may like to type.

Allow the child to be involved in the Ask Ed process by entering their name, using the buttons to move through the program, rate the problem, select their feelings and ideas and finally send the email.

Working Through

Problem Rating
Allow the child to decide on the Catastrophe Scale rating. You may not agree with them but remember it is their problem they are dealing with. If you feel ‘a fair rating’ for the problem has not been given because the child is overreacting it is worth having a discussion. You can say, ‘I am going to challenge your thinking about the rating you have chosen. Is your problem as bad as…? (provide an example). Children quickly understand what a fair rating is.
When To Use Quick Rating
You can use the ‘Give a Quick Rating’ feature when a child is overreacting to a small problem. Use the Catastrophe Scale as a reference for discussion. After the Quick Rating the child may want to work through the full Ask Ed process or just ‘ move on and get going’.

If a child nominates to enter their own feelings in the ‘I am feeling’ section, this will often reveal further information about their problem. Allow them to add in the extra information. This may be useful for further discussions during the ideas section. Sometimes children will talk more about the problem as they decide how they are feeling.
Thinking time
Allow wait time. When a child is using the Ask Ed process give them time to organise their thoughts. It is easy to jump in and put forward possible suggestions but if you wait quietly the child will generally come up with an idea. If they don’t have any they will tell you.

Accept all ideas suggested by the child and add them to the list. All ideas listed may not necessarily be chosen or used by the child. Allow them to make the decisions and decide what will work best for them.
No Ideas
If the child has no ideas, start a discussion. You can put forward some suggestions. Ask the child if they would like to use the suggestion. They have the final choice. Remember, it is important they feel ownership of the ideas.
Ideas Page
Allow the child to choose ideas if they are available on the ideas page. They need to have ownership of the selection.
When Ask Ed has been completed with the child ask them how they are feeling.
After the report has been printed and given to the child ask them what they will do with the report and where they will keep it. This places value on the child’s thinking and responses.
After using Ask Ed ‘check in’ with the child to see how they have managed. This could be the same day or later in the week.

Follow-up Ideas

Have a copy of the child's Ask Ed Report available to reference during the follow-up process. Use the report to guide your discussion and to see how they are getting on with their ideas. Print another report if the child indicates they want to work through the problem again or if they have a new problem.

Finally shake their hand and present them with a 'Thanks for Asking Ed' card - available in the Follow-up kit resource.
Questions to ask the child during the follow-up process include:
  • What was your problem?
  • Did you use any of your ideas?
  • What ideas have you tried?
  • What happened?
  • How are you feeling about the problem now?
  • What Catastrophe Scale rating would you give the problem now?
  • Do you want to use Ask Ed again?
  • Do you have any other questions?