What in the world is a social story?

I am truly excited to have this blog option! Our day with the kiddos goes by so quick and all too often we don't get a chance to share resources or ideas that may be beneficial for your child! For my first blog post I wanted to share with you a trick from my toolbag (no magic cards or rabbits in a hat here) that I love to use with kids! What is this trick you ask? SOCIAL STORIES!!! I am going to briefly explain what a social story is, go over how to write a social story, and lastly introduce you to an incredible app that allows you to take pictures, write your own story, and record our own voice to create your very own social story within a matter of minutes! What is a social story? A social story is typically a verbal and visual guide used to describe either a social situation, a behavior, skills or concept. The goal of a social story is to share an accurate representation of a concept using a specific style and format. Often our kiddos struggle with the ability to understand another persons perspectives, expectations, or desires. For this a social story can be used to help remove unpredictability by explaining a social situation by explaining what a person might be thinking or acting a certain way. I personally love using social stories in the classroom. I often use them for "Siitting in circle", "Parallel play" and "Simple turn taking". Social stories are also something that you can do at home. Take any situation be it brushing your teeth or going to the grocery store and a social story can be made. HOW? Well, I am so glad you asked. How to write a social story? To create a social story all you need to do is learn to write using for basic sentences which include: Descriptive Sentence: these are statements of fact, opinion free sentences, sentences that state the truth. ( Examples: I am learning to use the toilet, I sit in circle at school. ) Perspective Sentence: these sentences refer to or describe a persons thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or physical condition. (Running inside could hurt me or someone else. ) Directive Sentences: describe desired responses to a situation. (Examples: When the timer goes off I line up, I tap my friends shoulder to get their attention) Affirmative Sentences: These sentences express a shared opinion within a given society. ( When I line up it makes my teacher very happy, It is fun to walk in the grocery store.) Tips: Always write in first person and on the child's developmental level. Also use pictures that also fit the developmental level and support the text. Keep social stories 4-8sentences long. Each sentence should have it's own visual and page. Example: Running I like to run. It is fun to go fast. It's okay to run when I am playing outside. I can run when I am on the playground. Sometimes I feel like running, but it is dangerous to run when I am inside. Running inside could hurt me or other kids. When people are inside they walk. Walking inside is safe. I will try to walk inside and only run when I am outside on the playground. My teachers and parents like it when I remember to walk inside. APP time: Stories 2 learn. Price:$13.99 Stories 2 learn is a really great app that I love to use. You can upload or instantly take a picture, type in your own text and record our own voice to create your very own social story within minutes. It is extremely user friendly and saves your created stories in a library! I love how fast a story can be made and how quickly kids respond to it. They love seeing images of themselves and hearing their situational stories! So that is Social Stories in a nutshell. Happy writing! References: Gray,C (2010) What are Social Stories?. In the Gray Centre
Priya Patel

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