How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills?

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder find social skills difficult and confusing this is due to their autistic deficits

What are Autistic Deficits?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder which affects how an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts. The characteristics of autism are deficits in social, communication and imagination skills.

Typically children with Autism Spectrum Disorder are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, therefore Visual Supports are of more benefit.

Visual Supports like social stories are used as a means of communication and as a method of support when teaching and re-enforcing skills and behaviours that the ASD child is finding difficult.

So: How do Social Stories Help Children with Autism Learn Social Skills

 

The answer is YES they can. Introduced around twenty years ago social stories are now one of the major Visual Supports used in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions.

Social stories are short descriptive pieces of text which use visual images to describe a situation or skill using appropriate key points. Much like a comic script the social skills story can be easily implemented and needs no formal training to use.

Social stories are a role model or visual step by step plan of a skill or situation. Social stories should follow a set formula of sentence type: Descriptive, Directive, Perspective and control sentences in a manner the child with ASD will be able to follow easily.

Typically a social skills story will answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts and feeling of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with Autism.

Generally any treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder should be visual, easy to implement, and convenient for use in the home, as well as a t school and college.

A social skills story will help with transitions, changes to routines which is another area of difficulty for the vast majority of individuals with Autism, as well as learning new skills, changing behaviours, re-enforcing already learnt skills, in-fact almost all situations and skills the child with ASD is struggling with.

To learn more about how social stories are used, written and implemented visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

What causes autistic behaviour issues?

To understand what causes autistic behaviour issues it is important to have an understanding of autism.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects how individuals with autism processes information, thinks, acts, re-acts, behaves and processes sensory input or stimuli. The main symptoms of autism ARE social skills deficits in social awareness skills, communication and imagination skills and behaviours.

It is these social skills deficits that ARE the significant factor in what causes autistic behaviour issues. Typically children on the autism spectrum have communication difficulties and may lack the ability to ask or respond to things which their typically developing peers WILL treat as “normal”

For example recess a typically developing child WILL probably enjoy the freedom of recess but for children on the autism spectrum recess may be uncomfortable, stressful and confusing! This may lead to inappropriate behaviour around recess.

For a child with autism the sheer chaos of recess is upsetting, a child with autism WILL prefer sameness, order and routine and recess is none of these things. Children with autism have difficulties in understanding that not everyone shares their interest or feels that same way they do fully.

By taking a look into what causes autistic behaviour issues we can begin to unravel what it is that our own child with autism may be getting upset or confused by. Careful observation of a child with autism CAN help you to determine exactly what is troubling your child.

There are various supports for autism that WILL help a child on the spectrum OVERCOME many of their social skills deficits. Probably one of the most significant of these supports for autism is social skills stories.

These ARE short descriptive pieces of text that describe a situation or skill in terms of the relevant social cues. We know that the vast majority of individuals with autism ARE VISUAL thinkers and learners which means that they think in pictures and language is used as secondary.

It is important therefore to USE supports for autism which ARE VISUAL like social stories. Social stories for autistic behaviour difficulties focus on a skill, situation or behaviour that the child on the spectrum is struggling with and breaks it down into small easy to understand sections using images/pictures and first person text.

The social skills story CAN act much like a visual plan or framework of the skill allowing the child on the spectrum a chance to rehearse the skill. So going back to our recess example earlier, introducing a social story for recess WILL HELP the child with autism prepare for and understand recess. The social skills story can be looked at each day before recess, helping the child with autism feel more comfortable once recess arrives.

The social skills story CAN BE USED for a wide variety of difficulties, such as self-help skills, communication deficits, hygiene skills, behaviours and many more, in-fact almost anything the child with autism is finding hard.

Typically social stories answer the ever important “wh” question – who, what, why, where and when as well as “HOW” and WILL offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with autism.

To learn more about social stories for autistic behaviour difficulties visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

Or

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

Autistic Visual Supports

Individuals with autism ARE typically “Visual Thinkers – Visual Learners”, this means that they think in pictures and images and use speech / words as a secondary language.

“I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me…when somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures… One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills.” (Grandin, 1995).

Therefore presenting information and guidance visually will have a much better impact on individuals with autism.  There are a number of visual supports for autism which WILL help your child on the spectrum learn skills and behaviours that they find confusing, stressful or simply do not understand.

Autistic Visual Supports like: Social Skills Stories, Communication Picture Cards (flash cards), PECS and so on CAN be quickly and easily implemented and need NO formal training to use.

Social Skills Stories are short descriptive visual representations of a skill or behaviour. The social story breaks the skill down into smaller components, removes and un-necessary fluff or language and explains How and why something happens.

The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, where, why and when and provides an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with autism.


Autistic Visual Supports – Communication Picture Cards (flash cards)
ARE small laminated cards depicting an image or skill. For eample the Communication Picture Cards can be USED as an exchange –  the child with ASD hands over a picture card in retuen for the item on the card  -for example an apple at snack time and so on.

The Communication Picture Cards are also USED on visual timetables, as pointers around the home or in school, on chices boards, now and next boards and as a communication tool.

Both Social Skills Stories and Communication Picture Cards ARE available from: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

To learn more about Autistic Visual Supports and how they can benefit your child with ASD visit today and download Social Skills Stories which can be adapted to suit individual needs, no two children are the smane and we all use different terminology with our kids, therefore it is important that the social story you choose is editable.

Visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens
http://www.autismsocialstories.com/asperger_adolescents

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism

Unlike typically developing children a child on the spectrum WILL NOT naturally develop self-care skills, and WILL NEED direct teaching.

Typically individuals with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners, which means that they think in pictures and WILL respond better to teaching materials and strategies which ARE VISUAL.

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism is essential in most instances, typically developing youngsters will people watch and pick up on self-care skills, but children with autism DO NOT people watch and in most instances WILL NOT naturally learn self-care skills. A good social skills story can HELP the child on the spectrum learn essential hygiene skills.

For most individuals with autism hygiene can be confusing and in some cases even a painful experience! This is due to social skills deficits and sensory processing difficulties.

Social skills deficits ARE present in ALL individuals with autism, but to varying degrees dependant on where the individual is on the autism spectrum scale.

Using visual support to teach hygiene in autism is beneficial. Visual supports such as “social skills stories” ARE USED to HELP children with autism understand and deal with situations or skills that they find difficult or confusing like: puberty, washing their teeth, visiting a dentist and so on.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and gives the young person with autism an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others, which is an area of marked weakness in those on the spectrum.

Social skills stories will normally be written in first person text and is always written from the point of view of the young person with autism.

No two people on the spectrum are ever going to be the same and we all use different terminology, therefore the social skills story needs to be editable and easy to tweak.

To learn more about social stories for hygiene in autism and to see an example of social stories for hygiene in autism visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

Alternatively visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability is unfortunately misunderstood. The term autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of conditions. It is believed that around 25% of people with ASD will have accompanying learning disabilities.  Regardless of functioning, typically all people with an Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability will almost certainly have difficulties with social skills, imagination skills, behaviors and display communication difficulties, this is often called the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome is a life-long condition that is either present from birth or from early childhood.

Listed below are a few of the autism characteristics that may be present in children with autism. However, typically those with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome may only display a few of the autism characteristics listed behaviors while others on the lower end of the autism scale may display all the behaviors.

Having Autism Spectrum Disorder can mean:

  • Being unable to cope appropriately with social situations.
  • Self-stimulating behavior, often referred to as “stimming” this can include behaviors such as: flicking fingers, flapping arms, rocking back and forth and in some cases self-injury like head banging or slapping.
  • Communication difficulties – this can include asking questions, joining in conversations an finding appropriate topics of conversation.
  • Obsessions with certain facts or objects; for example timetables.
  • Asking questions they already know answers to.
  • Obsession with a routine that if broken may cause distress, this is a known area of weakness in children with autism
  • Difficulty forming relationships with others –  making friends can be difficult for children on the spectrum
  • Misunderstanding people’s feelings and emotions – difficulties with “mind reading” or reading peoples facial expression and body language is lacking in children on the spectrum
  • Problems with creativity and imagination are also a cause for concern in children on the spectrum. Typically children with autism are not spontaneous and will struggle with make believe and spontaneity preferring rigid learnt responses.
  • Typically many children on the spectrum will have a short concentration span.

Many autistic people are naturally gifted in certain areas, many autistic people are extremely gifted when using their hands constructing, painting and in music.

Those individuals with Asperger syndrome tend to be on the higher end of the autism scale. This set of individuals with Aspeger syndrome are generally average or above average intelligence.  Those individuals on the lower end of the autism scale may also display learning disabilities, this set of individuals may have poor communication skills and in many cases language may never develop.

In the classroom typically a student with autistic spectrum disorder may have difficulties forming social relationships and following school rules. This can cause issues within the classroom for teachers and other students. A student with autistic spectrum disorder may need extra support in school to help them cope. This help can come in the form of visual intervention strategies like: PECS, visual support cards, flash cards, social skills stories, visual timetables, now and next boards and so on…

Looking into what is Asperger Syndrome?
What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome has been described as “high functioning Autism.”
People with Asperger Syndrome will generally not have any learning disability. In many cases a child with Asperger Syndrome may not receive a diagnosis until they are older. Unlike a diagnosis of autism which is generally given before the child reaches three years of age. Indeed some people can go through their whole lives having Asperger Syndrome and not receive a diagnosis, until they are in their 40’s or older.

Asperger syndrome was first identified by Hans Asperger in the 1940’s; some of the characteristics of Asperger syndrome are:

  • Lack of empathy
  • Naive, inappropriate one sided interactions
  • Little or no ability to form friendships
  • Pedantic or repetitive speech
  • Poor non verbal communication
  • Intense absorption in certain subjects
  • Clumsy and ill coordinated movements and odd postures.

It is also apparent that those individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome also display the triad of autistic impairments – social skills deficits, as with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

  • Social communication: knowing what to say to other people and understanding what they are saying to you.
  • Social understanding: knowing what to do when you are with others or behaving inappropriately (apparently oblivious to social rules).
  • Imagination: pretend play, make believe and fantasy.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome will generally fulfill their potential and may go on to university, have a job and live a relatively “normal” life, get married and have a family.

 Overcoming the triad of autistic impairment – social skills deficits can be as difficult for the individual with Asperger’s as it can be for those individuals with mild an lower functioning autism

Therefore overcoming social skills deficits can become a primary focus for all people with ASD and their families. Overcoming social skills deficits can be achieved using autism supports like visual intervention strategies such as social skills stories and visual support cards.

 Looking at visual intervention strategies – autism supports

 Generally people with ASD are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think and learn in pictures. Consequently, visual intervention strategies are beneficial because they use visual means of communication, such as images, pictures, graphs and so on.

 An individual on the spectrum will be better able to understand and follow instruction and information when it is presented visually, rather than written or oral command. Strategies such as social stories use visual images along with appropriate first person text to explain a situation or skill that the individual on the spectrum is struggling with.

 For example: Autism and making friends, generally children on the spectrum struggle to make and maintain friendships. A social story can act as a role model or step by step plan showing children on the spectrum the social rules they are expected to follow when attempting to make friends, like for example how to approach another child, how to start a conversation and so on…

For many children with autism social stories are a life line, helping them overcome many difficulties. Many parents trust social stories to help them overcome hurdles such as puberty, relationships, and transitions etc…

 Social skills stories can answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others this is a marked area of weakness for many children with autism.

 Generally social skills stories are in word format making them easy to edit, no two individuals with autism are ever the same and we all use different terminology, therefore social stories need to be editable. They should also be easy to print making them portable and convenient to use anywhere and anytime.

 To learn more about social skills stories and how they benefit children with Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability, as well as other autism supports like visual support cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

Autism products and resources

Do you have a child with special needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder?

 

Do you need information on or for your child with special needs? Resources; safety equipment, soothing music even toys or games

 

In our well equipped autism store (with many featured amazon products) you will find plenty of autism products to suit every pocket and need all ready and waiting to be shipped or packaged off to you.

 

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex disorder, affecting how the individual thinks, acts, communicates and behaves. This is due to social skills deficits which are always present in individuals with autism. 

 

There is no cure for autism but there are treatments for autism and autism products available to you which can help treat the symptoms of autism – social skills deficits, making life a whole lot easier!

 

One of the primary treatments for autism is: social skills stories Developed twenty years ago social skills stories excellent at helping with the symptoms of autism, used to help pave the way for positive behaviours, teach new skills, aid communication difficulties, help with transitions, changes to routines, unexpected occurrences and help autistic children see things from another persons perspective.

 

For many parents with autistic children finding autism resources and products as well as treatments for autism is difficult, but we think we have found the solution here at autismsocialstories.com

 

Our NEW Autism E-Store has just opened full of wonderful autism resources and products like: autism books, autism educational resources, autism clothing and accessories, soothing music, toys and games, as well as other autism resources such as safety equipment, video games, baby goods, e-books,  children’s books, health products and much more…

 

There are various treatments for autism available at autismsocialstories.com like visual support cards: Used to help with communication difficulties as well as teach and re-enforce skills and behaviours. Visual support cards can be used for visual schedules, now and next boards, choosing boards as well as reminders for things such as snack time, toilet time, hometime and so on…

 

There is no cure for autism, but life has just got a whole lot easier; with autism products like: autism books, autism educational resources, autism clothing and so on…

 

Whatever you need is all in one convenient place at autismsocialstories.com find our treatments for autism and autism products and autism resources all in one place.

 

For individuals with autism life can be stressful, sensory processing issues can affect an individuals sense of self as well as the other senses: sight, sound, touch, taste and smell by using treatments for autism like social skills stories, visual support cards and other autism products in our autism store you can help your child with autism deal with issues like sensory processing issues, as well as any other issues and troubles which can arise.

 

To take a look inside autismsocialstoreis.com and the NEW autism e-store visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com for the NEW Autism E-Store click the tab at the top of the page Autism E-Store

 

See you there!

Learning self help hygiene skills in autism

For people with autism learning self help hygiene skills can sometimes be problematic. This is due to deficits in social skills which is a common symptom of autism. 

 

As typically developing individuals we naturally learn hygiene routines from watching our parents, our peers and from our environment etc., this is not the case for individuals with autism and direct teaching is necessary.

 

Typically people with autism have sensory processing issues also a common symptom of autism, having autism also affects the way individuals with autism process information, think, react also act and behave.

 

A child with ASD that has developed sufficient self-help skills is more likely to be integrated into a mainstream classroom, and less likely to be teased for inappropriate behaviours.

 

Research shows us that the majority of children with autism are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore any Intervention Strategies used for children with autism to provide information or instruction is generally better when presented visually.

 

For example Intervention Strategies which ARE visual such visual support cards, PECS, and social stories ARE USED with positive results. Probably the most popular Intervention Strategy for learning self help hygiene skills in autism is Social Stories.

 

Social stories are a tool for improving positive behaviours and skills in a child with ASD. A social skills story is a short descriptive explanation in visual format and first person text used as a visual plan or framework of a skill or behaviour that needs teaching or mastering.

 

A social skills story is much like a comic strip conversation. The social skills story breaks the skill into smaller easier to understand sections and should focus on the key social cues, answering the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

 

Social Stories also provide the ASD individual with possible solutions and suggestions as well as showing them what others are expecting of them, as well as what the ASD individual can expect from others.

 

Learning self help hygiene skills in autism using Social Stories has proven effective. Developed twenty years ago social skills stories can be implemented to help with not only self help and hygiene skills but also other social or communication skills the ASD individual may be struggling with.

 

To find out more about social stories and how they may benefit people with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

Alternatively other social stories can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/socialskills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

 

Visual supports in autism

Individuals with autism are often described as “visual learners” or “visual thinkers.” Which means they think in pictures, consequently autism resources need to be visual.

Research suggests greater success when parents and teachers use visual supports rather than oral or written supports and resources.

Such visual supports in autism resources as social skills stories, flash cards, visual schedules, PECS system etc. 

There are many aspects of an autistic child’s environment and everyday activities which will benefit from visual supports for autism.

Using social skills stories – Social stories are word and picture-based stories, much like a comic strip conversation, written to help the child with autism understand and feel more comfortable with skills, activities, communication and social situations.

Social stories are normally written in a specific manner, from the autistic child’s point of view and always using first person text and visual images. By answering the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into how other people may feel or think.

Using visual schedules – Visual schedules are a set of pictures that communicate a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. A visual schedule can help the child with autism understand and manage their daily activities, which reduces stress and anxiety.

Using visual supports in autism such as flash cards – A common problem for children with autism spectrum disorder is their ability to communicate. Flash cards are a strategy which can help to increase vocabulary, promote language development, and strengthen communication skills when teaching.

All of these strategies are useful for individuals with autism and related conditions.

To learn more about how social skills stories can benefit your child with an ASD and gain immediate downloads of social stories for autistic children visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Where you will find a selection of social skills stories for autistic children and young people

To learn more about visual supports in autism such as flash cards and visual schedules visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual.html

Where you will find a selection of flash cards available for visual schedules and as communication aids for ASD children

 

Other visual supports in autism can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

 

 

Social skills stories as a strategy for teaching social and communication skills

What are Social Skills Stories?

Social skills stories are designed and written following a set pattern of sentence types and visual images to describe a situation or skill using appropriate social cues.

A social skills story should describe what happens in a specific social situation in a structured and consistent manner.

Generally autistic individuals are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Consequently, an appropriate social skills story should be visual, the vast majority of autistic individuals respond better to visual information and instruction.

Social skills stories are visual strategies using images and appropriate first person text. Each social skills story should be written from the ASD individual’s point of view.

The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, why, where. when and what) as well as giving an insight into the emotions and thoughts of others. The social story acts like a role model showing autistic individuals visually how to behave in a socially acceptable way.

Using social skills stories as a strategy for teaching social and communication skills

The goal of any social skills story should be:

  • To provide ASD individual’s with social cues for situations or skills.
  • To help the autistic person rehearse a situation, and to respond appropriately
  • To help prepare the autistic person for routine changes or new experiences.
  • To reduce negative behaviour.
  • To help reduce social blunders caused through lack of social understanding.
  • To help address any communication difficulties

Therefore using social skills stories as a strategy for teaching social and communication skills is beneficial.

Social skills stories are visual strategies that address communication difficulties and provide a visual framework or plan which reduces stress and anxiety as well as giving the ASD individual a chance to rehearse appropriate responses.

Social skills stories work because

They address the “theory of mind”. Many individuals with autism do not act appropriately in social situations, simply because they do not understand that others might have a different opinion to them.

Many individuals with autism fail to understand verbal and nonverbal communications such as wit and humour, or that others may have different opinions, wants and needs to them.

Consequently communication difficulties are common for an ASD individual and social situations can become unpredictable and confusing.

Social skills stories help people with autism read situations and skills better and therefore react and act appropriately.

To learn more about what are social skills stories? And how people with autism can benefit from using these visual strategies to help them address communication difficulties as well as social skills and behaviours visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills