Autistic Social Stories are a means which is used for teaching social skills to children with autism and related disabilities. The autism social story provides accurate information about any situation or skill that the child with autism may find difficult or confusing.
So exactly how are social stories used?
The theory of mind suggests that those with autism have impairments in social understanding and communication skills. This means that those with autism may not understand how to act appropriately in social situations.
The theory of mind suggests that this is due to their impairments in social skills those with autism lack the ability to see things from another person’s perspective, and may fail to understand that other people may not always want to do the same things as them or have the same likes and dislikes.
Autistic Social Stories attempt to address the theory of mind by providing the person with autism an insight into the thoughts, emotions and behaviours of others.
Parents and teachers can use autism social stories for teaching social skills to children with autism, skills such as hygiene, they can teach about transitions as well as social and communication skills and behaviours.
What is an autism social story?
An autism social story is a short descriptive piece of text written in a specific style following a set formula of sentence type.
The autism social story will describe what happens in a specific social situation, presenting information in a clear concise manner.
The autism social story is visual; children with autism are generally visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore an autism social skills story needs to be visual using images or pictures as well as first person text to visually show the situation or skill being mastered or taught.
The autism social skills story breaks the skill down into smaller easier to understand sections describing the important social cues. Describing what is obvious to most of us, but to a person with social impairments may not be obvious.
Autism social skills stories answer the important “wh” question who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into appropriate responses.
The goal of Autistic Social Stories
To provide a prompt for social behaviour, to help the autistic person become familiar with skills or situations they struggle to understand, to help with transitions and prepare the autistic person for changes to routines and unexpected situations.
Thus reducing stress, anxiety and inappropriate behaviours, all helping the autistic child feel more comfortable with and in situations they may find difficult.
Autistic Social Stories act as a role model for the person with autism by providing a visual framework or plan that can be adapted to suit all ages and abilities.
To learn more about how to use autistic social stories teaching social skills to children with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com