Autism Spectrum DisordersTips & Resources                                                                                 ...
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TAP Tip Sheet - Social stories


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The Autism Program of Illinois Tip Sheet - Social Stories

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TAP Tip Sheet - Social stories

  1. 1. Autism Spectrum DisordersTips & Resources Tip Sheet 27 Social Stories Social expectations are typically learned by example. People with communication difficulties and/or behavior problems sometimes need more explicit instructions. Social stories are meant to help children understand social situations, expectations, social cues, new activities, and/or social rules. They make the abstract more concrete. As the name implies, they are brief descriptive stories that provide accurate information regarding a social situation. Knowing what to expect can help children with challenging behavior act appropriately in a social setting. WRITING A SOCIAL STORY Begin by observing the child in the situation you are addressing. Try to take on the childʼs perspective and include aspects of his or her feelings or views in the story. Also, include common occurrences in the social situation and the perspective of others along with considering possible variations. Social Stories contain three types of sentences: 1) Descriptive – describes the situation, who is involved, what they are doing, and why. Example: "At recess, there are many children playing with the ball." 2) Perspective – describes the reactions and feelings of the student and of other people. Example: "When I take the ball without asking, it makes the other children angry." 3) Directive – tells student what to do. Example: "When I want to play with the ball, I will ask the other children first." PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE • Read the story to the child in a location with few distractions. • Briefly explain the importance of the social story. o For example, discuss with Johnny the importance of sharing – making friends, getting along. • Read through the story once or twice and, when necessary, model the desired behavior. o For example, after reading with Johnny his social story on sharing, the adult plays with one of Johnnyʼs favorite toys. Johnny is encouraged to ask for the toy and respond appropriately. • If appropriate, create a schedule for the child in which the story is read at the same time and in the same way each time. • Read the story just prior to a situation in which the problem behavior is likely to occur, if appropriate.Rev.0612Prepared by: The TAP Center at The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign