Writing Your Own Social Stories
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While there a several books on the market which provide social stories for common everyday activities, such as brushing teeth or waiting in line, the best source for social stories is you. You know what situations your child will need to be prepared for. In addition to the basic guidelines given in the previous LifeTip entitled "Social Stories", here are few other pointers on perfecting and using social stories:
- Use pictures--Even if your child can read, their mind will always respond better to pictures. While the picutes used for PECS are ideal for their simplicity and are easily recognizable, sometimes it is impossible to find a picture that is most appropriate. The internet is a great means of finding photos, drawings and clip art to help convey your story. Photos, are another great option. For instance, If you are writing a story about going to your local grocery store, then use photo of the outside of the actual store.
- Timing--When you read the social story to your child is very important. When the situation is already occurring, i.e. when you are at the store, is probably too late. Before you leave the house is best. Give your child time to soak in the details, rather than waiting until they are already in the situation and experiencing the stress. However, it is a good idea to bring the story with you for them to look at as a visual reminder.
- Cataloging--Creating a catalog or booklet of all your social stories will help you for future situations. If you write them on the computer, you'll be glad you saved them. Not just for yourself, but for other friends who are caring for children with autism. If you have them printed or written out, it is worth the cost to have them laminated or placed in sheet protectors and stored in a 3-ring binder. Often times, the children enjoy having their own book of stories to look at when they are playing. The pictures help to build memories of activites and events they have done with you.
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