Social Stories for people with Autism

Social stories are short explanations of a specific behaviour, skill, situation, event or activity showing/detailing definite information about what to expect in that situation and why.

Social skills stories ARE treatments for autism which CAN be used for a wide variety of difficulties including:

Transitions

Making choices

Teaching self-help/hygiene skills

Preparing for changes to routines

Making and maintaining friendships

Dealing with skills/behaviours which cause stress and anxiety

Sudden changes/unexpected circumstances – such as a death, birth etc.

The social skills story will explain visually what is happening/about to happen and why, by breaking the skill/behaviour down into smaller relevant pieces, the “social cues”.

So for example the social skills story will aim to answer the important “wh” questions – what, where, why, when and who as well as “HOW” it will also attempt to give an insight into the thoughts and feelings of any other people affected or involved. Understanding the thoughts, feelings and emotions of other people is an area of considerable weakness for most people with autism spectrum disorder.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder tend to be predominantly visual thinkers and learners which indicates that treatments for autism the visual support tools, resources and information should be visual. It is therefore believed that visual support tools like social skills stories ARE generally the best form of teaching/support tool.

Social Stories for people with Autism can be downloaded and used with great affect from sites such as www.autismsocialstories.com. You will also find visual social story cards and folders as well as other visual support tools such as picture communication cards/flash cards, behaviour plans and charts as well as freebies and a comprehensive parent page.

Visit www.autismsocialstories.com

Building autistic social skills

Autism is a developmental disorder which has no known cure. That said THERE ARE plenty of excellent resources which can be used to help those diagnosed autistic.

Characteristically those diagnosed autistic WILL have social and communication difficulties, this is due to social skills deficits which ARE apparent in all people with autism but to varying degrees.

Typically people with autism WILL prefer visual information and teaching, it is therefore believed that resources and teaching styles should be more visual.

This is easily achieved through the use of visual resources for autism such as social skills stories, PECS, picture communication cards and so on…

Using visual resources for autism is beneficial, and typically will need no formal training to implement and use.

For example social skills stories ARE visual resources for autism which ARE used specifically for building autistic social skills and helping to overcome communication and social awareness difficulties.

Having social skills deficits can be challenging for many children on the autism spectrum and can at times even lead to extreme behaviours, even bullying.

So how does the social story work?

The social skills story is a short visual story much like a comic script which is used as a visual framework or step by step detailed plan of the skill or situation that the child on the autism spectrum is finding hard.

Many children on the autism spectrum struggle with the chaos of recess, by implementing a social skills story the child will have a concrete plan of recess. This plan WILL explain what is happening and why, which WILL help the child on the autism spectrum cope and feel more comfortable.

Social skills stories show the skill or situation from the child’s own point of view and use first person text. The social skills story describes the situation using images and short descriptive sentences or words.

The social story should answer the “wh” questions:-who, what, why, when and where. The social skills story should also answer “how” and provide an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most children on the autism spectrum.

To view and learn more about visual resources for autism like social skills stories for building autistic social skills and to access immediate downloads visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Autistic Supports

Autistic supports ARE used to help people with autism learn or remember social and communication skills and behaviours.

There ARE various supports for autism, but probably the most significant of the autistic supports ARE VISUAL.

Typically people with autism ARE VISUAL thinkers and learners this means that they USE visual images/pictures as their first language and speech/ words as secondary.

Therefore it is commonly believed that the most BENEFICIAL autistic supports ARE VISUAL. For example:

Social stories

Visual social story cards and folders

PECS

Communication cards – flash cards

…And so on…

For the purpose of this article we are looking at SOCIAL STORIES

Social stories for autism ARE visual autistic supports which were first introduced around twenty years ago to teach communication skills to children with autism spectrum disorder.

Today social stories for autism ARE widely used by teachers and parents to not only teach but re-enforce social, communication and imagination skills and behaviours.

A social story is a short descriptive story which looks much like a comic script. The social story WILL describe a skill or situation from the perspective of the child with autism.

Social stories for autism ARE visual autistic supports that use images/pictures to detail what is happening and why. Acting like a visual framework or plan the social story WILL answer the “wh” questions – who, what, why, when and where as well as “HOW” and will offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of considerable weakness in most kids with autism.

To learn more about social stories for autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com and get immediate downloads of 100 social stories for kids with autism

Teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism

Social awareness skills ARE not naturally learnt by young people with autism, unlike their typically developing peers children with autism DO NOT people watch and lack the ability to naturally learn skills the rest of us take for granted.

Many young people with autism struggle with friendships and find social interaction difficult to master this can lead to misunderstandings and at times social isolation.

Teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism CAN be achieved using Intervention Strategies like social stories, flash cards, PECS and so on…

Using Intervention Strategies is beneficial and has been proven to work.

Typically people with autism tend to be VISUAL thinkers and learners which means they think in pictures and images. Therefore teaching strategies should be predominantly visual, like social stories for example.

The social story is a short visual representation of a skill, situation or behaviour that the child with autism is struggling to master.

The social story breaks the skill into smaller pieces and describes the skill by means of first person text and visual images/pictures. It WILL act like a visual plan or framework which WILL help the child with autism to feel more comfortable and less stressed, confused or anxious.

Social stories answer the “WH” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most people with autism.

Social stories ARE used for teaching communication and social skills to young people with autism such as: asking other kids to play, asking questions, having a conversation, being able to listed and so on…

No two children with autism will ever be the same and we all use different terminology, therefore it is important that the social story you are using is editable like the social stories found at http://www.autismsocialstories.com

The social story needs to also be written from the child’s own perspective and be printable.

Visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com for immediate download of 100 social skills stories for various skills, behaviours, activity: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

Other social stories CAN be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

Teaching children on the autism spectrum

Many people with autism are visual thinkers, this means they think in pictures rather like a DVD running through their imagination, pictures being their first language, and words (spoken and written)  being their second language.

 

Therefore teaching children on the autism spectrum is made a whole deal easier if the teaching is done pictorially or visually.

 

Rather than string together long sentences or display written instruction try to use more visual prompts such as diagrams, pictures, graphs and images when teaching.

 

Avoid long strings of verbal instructions. People with autism have problems with remembering the sequence this a common symptom of autism.

 

Using visual supports like visual support cards, PECS and social stories are excellent visual supports for children on the autism spectrum. For example children with autism have difficulties with social and communication skills; this is a common symptom of autism and is present in all children on the autism spectrum.

 

Having difficulties with social and communication skills is referred to as the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

The triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits affect three main areas of development: Social skills, Communication skills and Imagination skills.

 

Using social stories as an Intervention strategy parents, teachers, care givers and other professionals are able to combat difficulties with the individual’s autistic impairments.

 

For example many children with autism struggle with transitions, changes to routines, reading emotions and expressions, learning skills, behaviours, communication and imagination. A social skills story can target the difficulty and visually show a detailed plan for tackling the situation.

 

A social skills story is much like a comic strip visually representing the skill or situation being taught, like a role model or visual plan. The social story will break the skill down into easy to understand sections, removing un-necessary language and fluff.

 

Social stories answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and will give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is a marked difficulty for most people with autism.

 

The social skills story uses visual images or pictures to explain the skill or situations and first person appropriate language always written from the autistic child’s point of view.

 

Most social stories are written in word format making them easy to edit and personalize, as none of us use the same terminology with our children and no two social story are ever going to be the same therefore social stories should be easy to edit.

 

Social stories should also be convenient to use, printable social stories for children with autism are available from reputable sites such as http://www.autismsocialstories.com

 

Where you will find printable social stories for children with autism on a wide variety of issues such as: hygiene, for school, at home and for occasions and activities like visiting the dentist, getting a haircut and transitions such as moving school and house as well as for everyday skills like making friends.

 

To find downloads of social stories for kids with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Research Information about Autism and Supplementation

People with autism are especially prone to nutritional difficulties. Therefore, taking supplements to achieve a balanced nutritional state can be beneficial.

 

Nutrition and supplements are an important part of our lives; our bodies need certain nutrients to stay healthy. There are literally thousands of products on the market that can give your body the added nutrients it needs.

 

For people with autism however addressing autism and supplementation is not easy. For the majority of people with autism the proteins gluten and casein have been found to potentially worsen the symptoms of autism.


Research Information about Autism and Supplementation suggests in some cases, gluten and casein have in-fact increased the brains production of natural opiates, making foods that contain them practically addictive!

 

The vast majority of children on the spectrum are influenced by routines, which can be a real problem if unhealthy foods have crept into their diets!  And many parents will struggle to implement a balanced and healthy diet, therefore if a balanced healthy diet is implemented early, it is far easier for children on the spectrum to stick to it.


Your child’s doctor will be able to determine whether your child is getting the right balance of nutrients, by doing a simple blood test. The data from the test will show whether supplements or changes to diet are needed.

 

Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) Medical Professionals are a good place to start because they have been especially trained to understand the challenges facing autistic children.

 

You may find your ASD child is lacking some of the common supplements that autistic children are often lacking or simply do not have at optimum levels of such as:

Selenium,

Calcium,

Magnesium,

Zinc,

Folinic acids,

Vitamins C and E,

Essential fatty acid,

Taurine, and various amino acids.


If you are about to begin giving supplements to your ASD child remember this should be done slowly, children with autism dislike changes, even those which are doing them some good.


It is a good idea at this stage to keep a diary of any behaviour changes the supplements have which can be discussed this with your doctor or nutritionist.


Research Information about Autism and Supplementation shows us in terms of positive and negative effects the result from the use of supplements, and a change in diet can be:

 

Positive changes:

Many parents of children with autism report a reduction in the severity of behaviours.

Many parents of children with autism report an improvement in managing behaviours and social interaction, which is a marked weakness in autism.

 

At this stage it is also important to note regressions in behaviour. If negative behaviours are observed, the supplement added should be reduced or eliminated.


Negotiating the diet and supplementation of an autistic child is a trial and error undertaking.

 

It is recommended that when first LOOKING INTO the diet and supplementation of an autistic child parents start small only purchasing in small quantities, if you buy a ton of a supplement that produces undesired results, you are stuck with a useless product.

 

It is important to work with your doctor or nutritionist, don’t just dole out supplements on an experimental basis; THIS CAN HAVE A DAMAGING AFFECT. Work with a doctor or a nutritionist to come up with a specific plan that is geared toward your child’s success.

 

This regiment should include frequent tests for metal toxicity, stool analysis, and tests for various amino acids and peptides.

 

There is much to think about when considering supplements for your autistic child. This process is very important and can improve the overall quality of their life.

You should not rush into changes with supplements for your autistic child, children on the spectrum dislike changes!

 

Give supplements time to work. Just as with your body it will take time for your child’s body to reap the benefit of a healthy diet and nutrition routine.

 

There are many more resources and information about autism: such as diagnosing, controlling and treating Autism in: The Essential Guide To Autism

 

 

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Intervention Strategies for autistic behaviour difficulties

Unlike typically developing children, a child on the spectrum WILL ONLY display inappropriate or odd behaviours for a reason an internal or external factor, NOT out of boredom, mischief or simply for the hell of it!

 

Generally individuals on the spectrum ARE visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore, when considering techniques and strategies which can help combat autistic behaviour difficulties those techniques and methods should be VISUAL.

 

Intervention Strategies for autistic behaviour difficulties such as Social Skills Stories can have a profound effect for children on the spectrum helping overcome many of the difficulties they face daily.

 

Deficits in social, communication and imagination skills ARE a common weakness in autism, and the major reason for most autistic behaviour difficulties.

 

All individuals on the spectrum WILL certainly have deficits in social, communication and imagination skills. However the degree of deficits will depend on the autistic individual.

 

Commonly, Intervention Strategies for autistic behaviour difficulties ARE implemented by parents, in schools, colleges and can be used to HELP a child on the spectrum UNDERSTAND AND COPE with a situation, event or skill that is causing them distress, confusion or fear.

 

Social Skills Stories WILL encourage positive behaviours, and reduce unwanted and negative situations and behaviours.

 

Social Skills Stories for autistic behaviour difficulties can be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior  

 

A social story will act as a role model, like a visual framework detailing the key points of the skills or behaviour and showing visually what is happening.

 

Answering the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and giving an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of weakness for people with autism.

 

Generally people with autism have difficulties understanding that other people may not share their interests and may have different opinions. By using Social Skills Stories for autistic behaviour difficulties YOU can help the individual with an ASD realise that people are all different with varying opinions and likes and dislikes.

 

Social Skills Stories are short descriptive pieces of first person text with visual images showing a skill in visual comic like fashion allowing the individual with an ASD to practise the skill or behaviour, helping them feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

To learn more about popular Intervention Strategies for autistic behaviour difficulties such as Social Skills Stories visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior where you will find information on social skills stories as well as downloads of appropriate social stories for autistic behaviour difficulties

 

Other sites with social stories can be found at: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.insideautisticminds.com

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

 

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

Social story on hygiene and Autism

Hygiene is an essential everyday life skill.

 

However for a person with autism spectrum disorder even the simplest of hygiene tasks such as tooth brushing can cause anxiety and distress. For a person with autism spectrum disorder social skills deficits and sensory processing issues are common.

 

Generally people with autism have sensory processing issues; are either hyper or hypo sensitive to stimuli – sight, sound, touch, taste or smell. Making a task such as tooth brushing problematic; the cold water, taste of the tooth paste even the nylon bristle of the tooth brush can be distressing.

 

Also a lack of social skills deficits affects how the autistic individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to sensory stimuli and those around them. So for example looking a hygiene and autism, it is not uncommon for an autistic individual to simply not understand the need for hygiene and self care.

 

Generally people with autism live in a ‘literal world’ meaning they fail to see the social rules or etiquette, they will speak literally and really not care much what others may be thinking or feeling, this is not arrogance merely a symptom of autism.

 

Generally, people with autism spectrum disorder lack social and communication skills and need direct teaching. Most autistic people are visual thinkers and learners meaning they think in pictures.

 

Therefore visual strategies like social stories work very well for teaching and encouraging social skills the person with ASD is struggling to master or understand.

 

Consequently, using a social story on hygiene and Autism is beneficial. The social story will help the person with ASD understand the basic need for hygiene and how this is accomplished.

 

Social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and reactions of others, helping to reduce stress and anxieties.

 

A social story on hygiene and Autism can tackle teaching the need for hygiene skills such as tooth brushing, getting a haircut, visiting the dentist, showering, puberty and so on.

 

Using visual strategies has been shown to work; social stories use first person text and visual images much like a comic strip, as a visual plan or framework of the skill or behavior being tackled, in a manner the ASD individual will understand.

 

Social stories for autism should be editable, printable and easy to implement, need no formal training to use and easy to personalize for each ASD individual.

 

A social story on hygiene and Autism will help explain visually the need for hygiene, why and how.

 

To learn more about visual strategies like social stories for autism and hygiene visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

For other social stories for autism and hygiene as well as other issues visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Encourage good hygiene in autism

Learning self-help skills such as good eating habits, dressing, toileting, and personal hygiene can be challenging for young people with autism spectrum disorder.


Social skills stories can be used effectively to help explain good hygiene habits and routines in autism. Social skills stories are developed to help individuals with autism understand how others perceive their appearance and the social implications of neglecting personal hygiene.


By using visual images and first person text in a step-by-step framework or plan the social story can explain exactly what individuals with autism need to remember to ensure good hygiene.

 

Teaching personal hygiene to young people with autism spectrum disorder can be problematic due to social skills deficits. Individuals with ASD may not understand the need to develop good hygiene habits.

 

Social skills deficits are common to autism and affect the way an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to situations , skills and behaviours the rest of us take for granted or as “normal”


Social stories encourage good hygiene in autism by answering the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts feelings and emotions of others.


Individuals with ASD are generally visual thinkers and learners therefore visual strategies such as social stories are beneficial. The social story should be editable, easy to personalize and print and be convenient to use.


Personal hygiene skills such as tooth brushing, showering and menstruation can be addressed using appropriate social stories for autism hygiene habits.


To learn more about how social stories for autism hygiene habits can be implemented to help ASD individuals with personal hygiene skills and routines visit sites such as: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene


Social stories short pieces of text, visual strategies which show ASD individuals how to cope with situations, skills and behaviours that they struggle to understand or deal with.


Social stories for autism hygiene habits can be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene


Other social stories can be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com


Improving self help hygiene skills in autism

Hygiene is an essential life skill; people with autism may need to learn this essential life skill directly. As typically developing individuals we learn hygiene routines through watching our parents, our environment, our peers and school. For individuals with autism learning any social or behavioural skill is not done in the typical manner.

 

Due to social skills deficits people with autism do not process information in a typical manner, neither do they people watch, or absorb information from their environment. This is why direct teaching for improving self help hygiene skills in autism is proving necessary.

 

A child with ASD that has developed sufficient self-help skills is more likely to be integrated into a regular classroom setting and have better experiences with peers.

 

Research shows us that social and communication skills and behaviours are improved in individuals with autism when the necessary information is presented visually. For example information is given and absorbed far easier with visual cues such as support aids, cards, PECS, and social stories.

 

Social stories are used as a tool in improving positive behaviours and skills for individuals with autism. A simple social story is a short visual description using visual images as a framework of a skill or behaviour that needs teaching or mastering.

 

A simple social story describes the skill or behaviour through text and images much like a comic strip conversation be detailing only the important social cues, as well as answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) and by providing the ASD individual with possible solutions and suggestions as well as showing them what others are expecting of them, as well as what they can expect from those around them.

 

Studies into the effectiveness of direct social skills teaching suggests that social stories are effective in teaching and improving self help hygiene skills in autism.

 

To find out more about social stories and how they may benefit any ASD individual visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com/hygiene

 

Alternatively other social stories can be found at:

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school