Social stories are a Visual Intervention Strategy that can be used to help teach children with autism social, communication and imagination skills and behaviours.
Typically children with autism lack the “Theory of Mind”, which means that they do not have the ability to see things from another person’s perspective or understand their beliefs and emotions. A child on the spectrum will also struggle with social awareness skills and will lack the ability to read situations and decide what is going on.
The majority of children with autism ARE visual thinkers and learners, this means that they think in pictures. Consequently, using a Visual Intervention Strategy to help them overcome their social awareness deficits and lack of Theory of Mind…
Visual social stories for children with autism are Visual Intervention Strategies that use images/pictures to describe a skill or situation from the autistic child’s own point of view.
As “normally” developing individuals we have the “Theory of Mind” we can predict what another person may be feeling or thinking by reading their body and facial expression.
For a child on the spectrum a social story can act like a visual framework or step by step plan of the skill or situation that they are struggling with. The social story WILL help guide them and teach them in a gentle reassuring manner how to act in the situation.
Visual social stories for children with autism answer the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why 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 autistic children.
Many parents of autistic children report their child shows improvement in social awareness skills and communication difficulties once social stories are introduced.
There is no need for any formal training to use social stories, downloadable social stories can be edited and personalized. No two individuals on the spectrum are ever going to be the same and we all use different terminology with our child, therefore the ability to edit social stories is beneficial.
Visual social story cards are also used with autistic children with great effect. These are ready made and laminated small cards. Each card has a section of the social story on it and can be presented either on a key ring or in a small 8×6 inch folder.
To learn more about social stories for your child on the spectrum visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
Here you will find various social stories for download, as well as visual social story cards on key rings and in folders as well as visual flash cards.
Other sites offering downloadable social stories are: