Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Basics of Social Stories

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Social stories are a sequence of pictures and word that explain the order of events in an activity. At the most primary level they start with first/then stories. These are very helpful to kids who have autism. They can see what is going to happen next.

You can look on You Tube or check out Teacher Tube for video social stories to show your child when you are going to do something new or are teaching social expectations. We used Teacher Tube for the going to the movies social story.

Fire Drill
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You can also find social stories in book form like Fire Drill:

Of course there is an app or two for that:
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Purple/e1/03/2f/mzl.rizctbkc.320x480-75.jpg Model Me Kids has several useful scenarios, getting a haircut, shopping at the mall, going to the doctor and more.

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We have the old version of Social Stories from Look2Learn, so I am not sure about any updates. has several apps that are helpful with scheduling and social learning.

When it comes down to it, if all you have is a piece of paper and a pencil you can write a social story that will be helpful in letting your child know what is going to happen when you do something new. This helps prevent meltdowns since you are making the sequence of events known and you are setting the expectations for the behavior while doing the activity.  Most kids like to know what is going to happen.  Here is a great example; even if it is in French you get the idea:

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Here are a couple of great blog posts from the above social story writer about traveling with a kid who has autism:

Social stories have been very helpful for our family. We don't use them nearly enough, but when we do it reminds me how powerful they can be.

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