Social Stories By Carol Gray
Goal of Social Stories… To teach understanding over rote compliance To describe more than direct
The stories are… Visual Permanent Written in simple language Based on careful assessments Explicit Focused on an area of core need Factual Unusual in their focus on what people are thinking and feeling Written in a predictable style to a prescribed formula
What to write? The child’s needs determine the topic of the story. The child’s perspective determines the focus of the story.
The first social story… should be a positive social story.
Each social story… uses positive language -and- states desired responses positively. If a reference to a negative behavior is essential to the story, it is mentioned very carefully and in general terms, as in “Sometimes people make mistakes…”
Social Story Example Sitting on the Carpet Sometimes our class sits on the carpet. We sit on the carpet to listen to stories and for group lessons. My friends are trying hard to listen so they can enjoy the story or learn from the lessons. It can be hard for them to listen if someone is noisy or not sitting still. I will try to sit still and stay quiet during our time on the carpet.
The Formula The recommended formula is 2-5 descriptive/perspective sentences for every 1 directive sentence. There is no strict rule, but studies show that this is effective in changing or praising behavior.
Descriptive sentences… provide specific information about the social situation (i.e., what the person sees, who is involved and what happens). Sometimes our class sits on the carpet. We sit on the carpet to listen to stories and for group lessons.
More examples… At school, most people go to the cafeteria for lunch. When it is lunchtime, most students eat lunch. I go to the cafeteria for lunch.
Are these descriptive? My name is ______________. I am attending a workshop. There are many people in the room. Most people are seated in chairs. One person is speaking. The speaker is very interesting.
Perspective sentences… describe the internal states of other people. These types of sentences provide information about others’ thoughts, feelings, and moods. My friends are trying hard to listen so they can enjoy the story or learn from the lessons. It can be hard for them to listen if someone is noisy or not sitting still.
More examples… Many students like to eat their lunch with others. Everyone likes it best when each student only touches their own food.
Are these perspective sentences? I will enjoy listening to the speaker. The speaker will like it if I am listening to her. I usually have difficulty listening to speakers. If I really try, I will be able to listen to the speaker. Many people want to learn more about Social Stories.
Directives are… the sentences that tell the student about the student’s expected behavior in the situation in order to be successful. I will try to sit still and stay quiet during our time on the carpet.
More examples… When I eat, I will only touch my own food. I drink my own drink.
Are these directives? • I will try to listen to the speaker. • I will try to sit still, listen, and pay attention to the speaker. • I will listen to the speaker and take notes. • I will try to sit quietly next to my friend. • If I need to leave the room, I have two choices: • Choice #1: I may get up quietly and leave. • Choice #2: I may wait for the next break.
Tips to remember… Can use fill-in-the-blank sentences. For younger students keep story to 8 or less sentences. Use words like usually and sometimes – allows us to “break” the rules a bit. Use pictures or symbols to enhance the meaning of the story, depending on level of student.
Exercise #1: Descriptive Sentences Monica, age 6, has a favorite school bus driver and has difficulty adjusting to other bus drivers. The first two descriptive sentences of Monica’s story are provided; write one or two descriptive sentences that could follow. My name is Monica. On most school days, I ride the bus._________________________________ ____________________________________
Exercise #2: Perspective Sentences Derek, age 13, has Asperger’s syndrome. He has difficulty working in a small group at school, and is resistant to using the ideas of others. What follows is one perspective sentence found in Derek’s story. Write another perspective sentence that may be found in the same story. Each student in our group has ideas about our project. ______________________________ ____________________________________
Exercise #3: Rewrite these sentences Mom makes dinner each night. It’s important to sit quietly in school.
Time to Practice Take the next 15 minutes to write a social story for your target student. Remember the Formula: 1 directive sentence for every 2-5 descriptive/perspective sentences
POWER Cards BY Elisa gagnon
Purpose: Using a child’s special interests to motivate them to change behaviors, participate, understand social situation, etc.
What are special interests? • Anything a student is quite narrowly focused on (talks/reads about a lot) • Can be tangible – rock collecting, computers, friends, etc. • Can be topical – superheroes, cartoon characters, presidents, World War I, etc.
Motivation Using a student’s special interests can motivate them in ways other people, stories, or visuals may not. Since the child wants to be like someone (geologist, Superman, etc.), he is more likely to comply with behaviors that are exhibited by the student’ special interest.
POWER Card Components • A short scenario is written in the first person to describe how their special interest solves a problem. • Use a hero or special interest + behavior/situation that is difficult for the student • Make sure to keep the language simple and to a minimum but keep it age appropriate. • Can include illustrations (pictures, computer graphics, student drawings, etc.) • Paragraph 1 has the hero/role model attempting a solution and succeeding. • Paragraph 2 encourages the student to try out a new behavior (broken down into 3-5 manageable steps).
POWER Card Components cont. Should be the size of a trading card, bookmark, business card, etc. Should have a small picture Lists the solution to the problem behavior/situation in 3-5 steps Should be carried by student in pocket, placed in pencil case, placed in/on desk, readily accessible to student/teacher on a binder ring, etc.
Steps to Using POWER Cards: Identify the problem behavior or situation and define it clearly (choose only on behavior at a time). Identify the child’s special interest (ask teachers or parent if you are not sure). Determine the reason for their behavior: escape/avoidance, attention, anger, confusion, control, sensory stimulation, fear, request, denial, lack of understanding or the situation, etc. Write the scenario and design the POWER card. Introduce the scenario and POWER card to the student.
Steps to Using the POWER Card cont. Evaluate its effectiveness and modify. Over time, allow the student to keep the POWER Card but refer him to it less if the behavior has improved.
Sample Scenario Superman and the Bathroom During his many flights to help people in need, Superman has found it necessary to stop and use the bathroom once in a while. He knows it is important to go when he needs to, and he doesn’t wait for someone to ask him if he has to go. He knows that it is important for superheroes to take care of their bathroom needs on their own. Superman would like you to consider these 3 facts: When you are at school, try and go every time there is a scheduled bathroom break. When you are at school, tell your teacher that you need to go to the bathroom if it is not a scheduled break time. If you are in the lunchroom or on the playground, tell an adult you are with that you need to use the bathroom. Superman is proud of young people who take care of their own bathroom needs.
Sample POWER Card !. When you are 1. When you are at school, try and go every time there is a scheduled bathroom break. 2. When you are at school, tell your teacher that you need to go to the bathroom if it is not a scheduled break time. 3. If you are in the lunchroom or on the playground, tell an adult you are with that you need to use the bathroom.
Sample Scenario The Powerpuff Girls Play a Game The Powerpuff Girls like to play games. Sometimes they win the game. When they win the games, the Powerpuff Girls feel happy. They might smile, give each other a high five or say “ Yea!” But sometimes they lose the game. When they lose the game, the Powerpuff Girls might not feel happy. They might take a deep breath, say “Good job” to the winner or say “ Maybe next time.” The Powerpuff Girls want everyone to have fun playing games. They want you to remember these three things when playing games the Powerpuff way: Games should be fun for everyone. If you win a game you can: smile, give a high five or say “Yea!” If you lose a game you can: take a deep breath, say “Good job” to your friend or say “Maybe next time.”
Sample POWER Card 1. Games should be fun for everyone. 2. If you win a game you can: smile, give a high five or say “Yea!” 3. If you lose a game you can: take a deep breath, say “Good job” to your friend or say “Maybe next time.”
Time to Practice Take the next 15 minutes to write a scenario and POWER Card for a behavior related to your target student.
Social Thinking By michellegarcia winner
Social Thinking The ability to consider the points of view, emotions, thoughts, beliefs, prior knowledge and intention of others. This ability is required before developing social skills. In neurotypical (so-called normal-thinking) people, social thinking is hard-wired form birth and learned intuitively. Students with social disabilities (autism, Asperger’s, mental illness, etc.) don’t have social thinking abilities and needs to be taught them explicitly.
Social Thinking teaches individuals: How their own social minds work. How their behavior affects those around them. From this, how behaviors are affecting their own emotions, responses to and relationships with others across different social contexts.
Social Thinking Objectives: Recognize the different levels of their own and others’ social minds. Navigate behaviors for more rewarding social outcomes. Learn to adapt to people and situations around them and across contexts.
Social Behavior Charts Use the following charts to display expected and unexpected behaviors in certain social situations. You can modify the forms if you want to take out information, simplify it or use a different format. It is always best to discuss the charts extensively with the student so they understand the behaviors and emotions. Role-playing the situations is also a great way to help the student understand the charts.
Charts H:\Social Thinking.pdf
Time to Practice Take the next 15 minutes to fill out the expected and unexpected behavior chart for a behavior related to your target student.