Social stories were first developed round twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray. To aid the communication difficulties she was having with the autistic students she worked with.
Children with autism spectrum disorder have problems in three main areas of development: Social interaction skills, they may struggle to make friends, understand the unspoken rules of social interaction, be unable to recognise social cues and signals, not respect personal space and display at times weird or odd behaviours, many autistic students fail to understand school and class rules.
Communication difficulties with both verbal (spoken) language and non-verbal communication; For example gestures, sign language, reading or interpreting body language and facial expression.
AS well as imagination skills, children with autism spectrum disorder live in a very literal world and find make believe hard to understand a child with autism will also struggle with humour, pretend play. They may also display obsessive behaviours and fail to recognise or indeed understand why others may not share their interest.
Social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder aim to HELP address these social skills deficits. All autistic children will have some or all of the above social skills deficits with varying degrees of severity dependant on where the child with autism falls on the autism spectrum.
Social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder ARE implemented to help with various skills and situations the child on the autism spectrum is struggling with for example making friends, washing their teeth, coping with recess, respecting personal space and so on.
Written in first person language in a consistent manner social stories answer the “wh” questions - who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give the child on the autism spectrum an insight into the thoughts, feelings and actions of others.
Normally following a set pattern of sentence type a social story WILL act as a role model or VISUAL PLAN of the skill or situation.
We know children on the spectrum ARE mainly VISUAL thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, a good social story will follow this concept and USE visual images or pictures to show visually the skill or situation being taught or encouraged.
Social stories for children with autism spectrum disorder should be editable because we all use different terminology with our own child, they should be easy to personalize making them suitable for all ages and abilities.
To learn more about how social skills stories can be implemented and to gain access to over 100 social skills stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com