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Social Stories in the Classroom
Transcript of Social Stories in the Classroom
Kathy L. Stockbridge, M.Ed.
Autism Training, Part 3
Social Stories™ have been proven effective as strategies to change target behaviors. Developed by educators or others familiar with the student, Social Stories™ are written short stories that inform or describe an activity and the anticipated behavior associated with it.
Social Stories™ also provide social information to teach appropriate social behavior governed by various unwritten and unspoken rules and nonverbal cues.
Some Examples of
• My name is Justin.
• There are many people in a cafeteria during lunch time.
• We have circle time at school.
• Some children are talking loudly in a hallway.
Think of these sentences as the “set up” to the Social Story.
Remember. . .
Social Stories and scripts use
Use words like “almost”, “sometimes”, “many”, instead of “everyone”, “always” or “all.”
Children with autism can be very rigid. Using flexible language teaches more flexible thinking.
Social Stories and scripts are written positively. They are giving the student the “example”, not the “non-example.”
The statements in the stories can vary depending on the purpose of the story.
Also, it is important to observe the person for whom the story will be written and to consider his/her perspective in deciding what to include.
However, the individual's feelings should never be assumed since the author of the story may be incorrect in his/her assumptions.
In her guidelines for Social Stories™, Carol Gray (1995) outlines four types of sentences:
sentence provides the facts in a situation or the main aspects of the topic.
sentence describes others’ feelings, thoughts, or beliefs.
sentence describes desired responses to social situations, gives the child alternative choices or behaviors, and usually begins with
like I will, I may, or I will try. In addition, a directive sentence should be developed carefully, based on the possibility of literal interpretation.
sentence can be used to reassure the child by providing common values and meanings in a given culture.
• My teacher knows about my schedule.
• Some people like to play games together.
• Some people believe in Santa Claus.
• My sister likes to play the violin.
• I will try to listen to a teacher’s lesson.
• I will stay at home when my mom leaves to pick up my brother.
• When I have a question in class, I will try to remember to raise my hand.
• It's okay for me to ask for a break.
• Taking turns is a good idea.
• Following my schedule is very important to do.
Implementing Social Stories/Scripts
For a person who can read, the author introduces the story by reading it twice with the person. The person then reads it once a day independently.
For a person who cannot read, the author reads the story to the student before the activity that s/he needs to approach differently. After the initial reading, the author may read the story one or two times a day.
Once the child with autism successfully enacts the skills or appropriately responds in the social situation depicted, use of the story can be faded.
This can be done by reducing the number of times the story is read a week and only reviewing the story once a month or as necessary.
Fading can also be accomplished by rewriting the story, or by gradually removing directive sentences from the story.
Examples of Social Stories/Scripts
Musical Social Stories
Songs by Cathy Bollinger
Video modeling is a teaching technique which involves having a
student watch a model perform a target skill on a video tape and then practice the skill that he or she observed.
Video modeling can be used to teach a wide variety of skills. You can use video modeling to teach communication skills, such as saying
“hello” and “goodbye;” daily living skills, such as hand washing or
grocery shopping; social skills, such as making comments during play, and academic skills, such as spelling.
Video modeling involves two primary steps: making the tape and then using the tape to teach your student.
Other Social Narratives
Musical Social Stories
Comic strips and Stick figures
What are they?
Written from perspective of student
Are supported with visuals (pictures, cartoons, line drawings)
Provide info about expected behavior
Are less strictly written than Social Stories
How to use them?
Identify difficult situation
Read to or with the student before difficult situation
Decide if other teaching strategies are needed
Is it time for a break yet?
Let's try writing a social script!
Power Card Strategy
is a visual aid that incorporates the child’s special interest to teach appropriate social interactions, including routines, behavioral expectations and the hidden curriculum.
It consists of two parts—a short scenario describing how the hero solves the problem and a small card with a picture of the hero to recap the strategy. Because children with AS often have well-defined special interests, the hero associated with their interest serves as a motivator. The strategy capitalizes on the relationship between child and hero.
Following the initial reading of the scenario, the child is given the Power Card to keep with them. This card serves as a way to generalize the skill to new settings (Gagnon, 2001).
Stick Figure Drawings
Carol Kraulitz and Ellyn Arwood, two SLPs from the Washington and Oregon, use stick figures as their visuals. They have some research that suggests the brain registers the information presented through stick drawings better because we understand and process that information because of the “edges”.
Stick person schedule with thought bubbles
Good Websites for Social Stories/Narratives
Are there any questions?
Thank you all for coming!
Social Story and Script Books
Can you write a story using stick figures and thought bubbles?
Mark's "Power Card"
A Personal Power Card for a Student
Personal Power Card, cont.