Archive for November, 2009

How to write social stories for autism

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Many parents of children with autism search for answers that will help them overcome some of the issues relating to autism characteristics and behaviors, an easy answer is social stories can help. What are social stories? And how WILL they help a child with autism improve his social skills and behaviors?

 

What are social stories, put simply they are specifically written step by step plans to help children with autism learn and master skills they otherwise struggle with.


A social skills story is a short descriptive piece of text (story) written for an individual with social skills deficits to help establish and encourage positive social interactions and behaviors.


Due to autism characteristics and behaviors many children with autism struggle to make sense of the world they live in and the people they come into contact with, these difficulties are known as social skills deficits and are common to autism.

 

Social skills stories are written by therapists, teachers and parents of children with autism to prepare them for experiences and changes to routines. Social skills stories can be on issues as varied as tooth brushing, visiting grand parents, recess even visiting the dentist or hairdresser.


Many parents of children with autism, caregivers and teachers create social skills stories to help teach social and communication skills and behaviors within the family and school setting.

 

Social stories are used to help children plan and mange transitions, ask appropriate questions, and calm down successfully.

 

Generally social stories are visually rich giving the autistic child visual cues helping them identify and understand the skill or behavior being taught or re-enforced. Visual images in the social story for autism help make the social story’s content and purpose clearer.

 

When looking at how to write social stories for autism these factors should be considered:

 

A Social Story should describe a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format.

 

The goal of a social story for autism is to provide accurate information and clarity in a reassuring manner that can be understood by the autistic child or young person.

 

Always written in the first person using appropriate language social skills stories are used as a strategy for most behavior and skills the autistic child or young person needs help with.


To find out more about how to write social stories for autism and gain immediate downloads of various social skills stories visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills


Or any of the following sites:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources



Strategies for festive fun for children with autism

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The festive season need not be stress filled and full of anxieties for both you and your autistic child.


Following some simple strategies can help alleviate some of the pressures and confusions an autistic child feels this time of year. Using social stories as a strategy can greatly improve Christmas for an autistic child.


Probably one of the major issues related to Christmas for an autistic child is the confusion and changes to routine. All autistic people like routine and things to remain the same, which of cause is impossible in the festive season.


Consequently stress and anxieties are displayed which can lead to autistic behaviors such as aggression or meltdowns. To avoid or limit autistic behaviors many parents of children with autism implement specifically written social stories aimed at helping the child with autism cope with changes to routines and other social and communication skills that need altering or learning or re-enforcing this time of year.


For example putting up a Christmas tree, a child with autism spectrum disorder lives in a very literal world and can be confused as to why a tree is decorated and placed in the house! A simple social story can help explain why this happens and help the child with autism spectrum disorder participate in the decorating of the tree.

 

Research suggests using social stories as strategies for festive fun for children with autism can help encourage positive behaviors, which will help the entire family enjoy the festive season more.


Mainly written by experts social stories are visually rich with appropriate text following a specific formula, explaining in a step by step plan how to cope with or master a skill the autistic child is struggling with. A simple social story can help reduce negative behavior and alleviate stress.

 

To download social stories as strategies for festive fun for children with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/christmas

Social skills stories for autistic behaviors

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

A major issue for parents of autistic children is their concern that a lack of appropriate social and communication skills both verbal and non-verbal in their autism child will greatly hinder their development and ability to function in a “normal society”

Generally speech is quite often delayed in the autism child but will develop, with the percentage of autism children completely non-verbal being only 9%.

 

Social skills deficits in social and communication skills are common to all autism children. However there are autism treatments that parents of autistic children report provide a substantial improvement in their child’s social and communication skills development, which can help the autistic child develop and fit in with society with less of a struggle.

 

Probably one of the major autism treatments is social skills stories for autistic behaviors. These were first introduced almost twenty years ago to help facilitate social and communication issues reducing stress and anxieties in the autistic child or adult.


Significant numbers of parents of autistic children, care givers and teachers report that the use social stories to teach social and communication skills greatly improves positive behaviors and helps the autistic child reach his/her full potential socially.

 

There are many sites run by experts in autism offering autism treatments such as social skills stories for autistic behaviors, one such site is: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

 

Social skills stories are now probably one of the major coping techniques for autistic behaviors used by parents of autistic children to help re-enforce skills and behaviors to the child with autism from everyday skills such as asking questions, listening and being a good sport to more complex skills and behaviors like, calming down, appropriate touching and lying.

 

Social skills stories are believed to improve social and communication skills in the child with autism plus personal and social development as well as reducing undesirable behaviors.

 

To find out more about social stories for autism as major coping techniques for autistic behaviors visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior


Teaching Autistic Students Using Social Skills Stories

Monday, November 16th, 2009

Probably the most significant difficulty for autistic students is their social skills deficits. Many teachers of autistic students report that teaching social skills to their autistic student can quite often become the primary focus. For many students with autism lack of social skills in the classroom can lead to social misunderstanding, isolation, bullying and stress. Consequently many teachers of autistic students feel teaching autistic students social skills can lead to positive behaviors, inclusion and confidence in the autistic student.

 

Therefore teachers of autistic students turn to techniques such as social stories to teach their autistic students vital social and communication skills. Social skills stories focus on a particular social situation or interaction. For example transition into a new school or class, meeting a new person, recess even assembly all examples of situations within the school day that an autistic child may struggle with, but with the use of social skills stories can learn to cope with and master.


Social skills stories are a very effective autism tool used to teach social skills to autistic children. The social story should give the autistic child exact no frills information about a social situation or behavior that they find confusing or stressful. The goal of a social story is to describe in precise detail giving clear focus to the key points of the skill being taught.

 

Therefore teachers of autistic students agree using social stories can help alleviate many “meltdowns” teach appropriate behaviors and generally help calm stressful and confusing times for the student with autism. Always written following a set pattern and using appropriate first person text the social skills story can help the autistic child comprehend and master any skill or behavior they may be struggling with. The social story uses visual images or pictures to help describe the skill, generally most children with autism are visual learners and find following visual cues and prompts easier than oral or written information.


An example of using social skills stories, typical scene “before social skills stories”

It is time for assembly the whole school will be there. You know what will happen it happens often your student will be overwhelmed, over stimulated, stressed and confused. He will become agitated and upset, other children may laugh and become distracted. You will be stressed, you may be able to clam him but more often than not you will need to remove him from the assembly.

 

An example same event; “using social skills stories”

It is time for assembly the whole school will be there. You know what will happen it happens often your student will be overwhelmed, over stimulated, stressed and confused. But this time YOU have a social skills story, You can read and share the social skills story before assembly, this time your student with autism knows what will happen, what to do and how to act, he is prepared and calm, YOU can relax and enjoy the assembly.


During assembly he begins to feel uncomfortable, you read him the social skills story or he can read it himself to re-enforce his behavior, this clams him and de-stresses him again. No meltdowns, tantrums, confusion or stress.


This is just one simple example of using social skills stories. A social story can be implemented for teaching social skills to autistic students easily and effectively.


For more information and immediate download of social stories used for teaching social skills to autistic students visit either:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

Other social stories to teach social skills to autistic children can be downloaded from:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

 

Social story on hygiene and autism

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Social stories are used to help teach social skills to autistic people. First developed almost twenty years ago social stories follow a set pattern which is easy for autistic people to understand.

 

Always written in the first person and visually rich with appropriate text, the social story will describe the skill or behavior the autistic child may be struggling to understand in an easy to follow step by step plan with visual images.

 

Generally children with autism struggle to understand social and communication skills, which the rest of us take for granted, for example hygiene skills such as eating habits, washing their teeth, hair and so on.


Therefore many parents of autistic children, care givers and educators implement social stories to help the autistic child comprehend and master the skill or behavior they are struggling with, this can ease anxieties and behavior issues.

 

As children with autism are generally visual learners social stories provide an excellent tool for parents of autistic children to use as they are visually rich, this helps the autistic child understand the social story far easier than the written word or an oral command or direction.

 

A common issue faced by parents of autistic children is their child’s lack of hygiene; many children with autism fail to understand the need for some hygiene skills and can be distressed by for example the sound the toilet makes, the taste of the toothpaste, visiting a dentist even getting a haircut can be stressful.

 

A social story on hygiene and autism, which can teach the appropriate hygiene skills, can ease stresses and anxieties.

 

To understand more about social skills stories for autism and how easy they can be implemented and used visit any of the following sites. Or for a specific social story on hygiene and autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene


For all other social skills stories for autism that help to teach social skills to autistic people visit:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Life after a diagnosis of autism

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

A diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world; autism is probably one of the most common developmental disorders today with 1 in every 150 children receiving a diagnosis of autism.

 

Scientists still have no cure for autism, but strive to find answers to the burning questions what is autism and how is it cured?

 

So as we know it what is autism and how do we cope and move forward with life after a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder? Autism spectrum disorder is a complex set of autism symptoms or characteristics all pertaining to the way a child develops (brain) the autism symptoms or characteristics affect the way a child develops in the triad of autistic impairments.

 

Put simply the triad of autistic impairments are deficits in the way the autism child develops skills and behaviors their social, communication, imagination and interaction skills will be poor and not develop in the normal way.


For typically developing children these skills develop naturally without us needing to really put much thought and effort into their development, for example typically developing children will be naturally inquisitive, will want physical contact, can make eye contact, will quickly learn to point, will crawl, stand, play, and want the interaction of peers and family members.

 

For the autism child these natural skills need to be encouraged and will need direct teaching.

 

Although there is no cure for autism there are treatments for autism that make the life of the autism child much easier and allow them to develop to their full potential. Autism spectrum disorder is not a mental disorder, but that said some kids with autism, those on the lower end of the autism spectrum scale may not develop speech or it may develop late and may display educational difficulties.

 

Generally those kids with autism on the higher end of the autism spectrum scale will be of average to above average intelligence and you may here them referred to as “the little professor” or “geeks”.

 

One of the major treatments for autism that can really help the autism child and parent is social stories. These can help bridge that gap and teach the social, communication, imagination and interaction skills and behaviors that the rest of us take for granted.

 

Since their development almost twenty years ago treatment for social skills deficits in autism has moved forward in huge leaps and bounds. Parents, teachers and all others involved in and child’s care can use social stories with the child to help connect and teach skills and behaviors the autism child may not understand or may find stressful.

 

The social stories can be used for all social skills deficits in autism from the very basic like mastering tooth brushing, wiping your nose, to the more complex like making friends, controlling behaviors, asking questions, being a good sport and so on they are very versatile, editable and usually visually rich following set guidelines and using appropriate text.

 

For many parents life after a diagnosis of autism can move forward significantly using social stories they can help their child feel more comfortable with skills, situations, events and behaviors their child is struggling with making family life tolerable and also life in school easier and less stressful for their child.

 

Generally all kids with autism respond well to social stories and huge success are normally reported for this excellent tool in the treatment for social skills deficits in autism.


To download and find out more about the benefits of social stories for kids with autism and how they help as a “significant” treatment for social skills deficits in autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Or any of the following sites are also good portals of social stories for kids with autism:

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

 

 

Teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Many parents of teenagers with autism worry that their child will not “fit in”. This worry is heightened by the autistic teenager’s difficulties in mastering hygiene skills and routines? especially around puberty.

Hygiene skills are essential life skills but for many autistic teens developing these skills can be challenging. Consequently direct teaching of healthy hygiene habits in autism is essential.

Many parents of teenagers with autism look for ways to teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism and turn increasingly towards autistic supports such as social skills stories.

 

Developed almost twenty years ago social skills stories help teach social and communication skills to autistic individuals effectively.

 

Using appropriate language and visual representations they show the teen with autism exactly how to master a skill, what to expect and what others will expect.


The social skills stories explain the why, where, what and when of the skill concentrating on the main key points and cutting out all the frills in a way the teen with autism can comprehend and cope with, helping to relieve anxieties and make the teen with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

Consequently many parents of teenagers with autism use social skills stories to teach healthy hygiene habits and routines in autism and report huge success rates.

 

Parents of autistic teens implement social skills stories to help with autistic hygiene issues such as:


* autism and going to the bathroom

* puberty and autistic girls

* autistic teenage hygiene ~ using deodorant

* autism and menstruation

* taking a shower

* taking a bath


Plus helping to teach many autistic hygiene issues, all relevant to a healthy lifestyle and being accepted by peers.

 

Generally parents of autistic teens will already probably have a general knowledge of social skills stories, and may already be using them to teach other social and communication skills to their autistic teenager.

 

To download social skills stories for healthy hygiene issues in autistic teenagers you can visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

From this website you can now instantly download 20 social skills stories for healthy hygiene issues in autistic teenagers and children.

 

Other social skills stories for autistic teenagers dealing with puberty and autistic girls, plus male puberty, school, friendships and other related issues are found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/autistic_teens