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What Are Social Stories?
Social stories are a tool you can use to help children with Asperger's Disorder and other autism spectrum disorders learn appropriate social skills. Children with Asperger's Disorder don't just pick up social skills, so social stories can provide a great tool in teaching a skill in a direct way. Social stories help to give kids a better understanding of other people's thoughts, feelings and views. They also help the student to better predict another person's behavior based on their actions. Social stories present various situations in a structured and direct way so that the child can understand a situation without having to "read between the lines". They are written from the child's perspective and simply illustrated using uncluttered drawings or photographs to depict each step of the story.
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Possible Subjects for Social Stories and Examples
Social stories can be written about many different social and behavioral situations that children encounter in the school or any other environment. Some possible ideas for social stories include "getting in line", "taking turns on the swings", "sitting in the lunch room", "circle time", "taking turns when playing games", "sharing my trucks", or any other situation that causes confusion for a child. Here are some great examples of social stories to get you started. There are also social stories printables available online for teacher and parent use.
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Writing a Social Story
Write social stories in the first person, present tense. The child will read or hear the story as if he/she is the one talking. This is easiest for him/her to understand. Simply describe the situation, who is involved, what is happening, where the action is taking place, as well as why the situation has occurred. Give some perspective about the thoughts and feelings of the other people involved in the story. Plainly state what the desired response of the child should be in the story. You may use a sentence to summarize the situation at the end of the story to better enable the child to understand the desired actions. Here is an example of how to write social stories for kids with behavior problems. This social story was written for a child who doesn't understand that other kids don't appreciate it when someone stands too close to them when carrying on a conversation.
Sometimes I talk to the other children in my class.
The other children don't like when I stand very close to them.
When I stand too closely, it makes my friends feel crowded.
If I stand too close, other children sometimes get mad at me.
I can back up and stand three feet away from my friends when we talk.
It makes my friends happy when I stand three feet away when we talk.
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1. Polyxo.com: http://www.polyxo.com/socialstories/introduction.html
2. Suite 101: Social Stories for Autistic Students: http://autismaspergerssyndrome.suite101.com/article.cfm/social_stories_for_autistic_kids
3. Printable Social Stories: http://www.frsd.k12.nj.us/autistic/Social%20Stories/1social_stories.htm