Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


What is the best way to teach social stories?

"What is the best way to teach social stories? Should this be done by parents, a therapist, or in a peer-group setting? And are social stories good resources for the home-schooler?"

Indeed, social stories can be effectively used to teach appropriate behavior in a variety of settings. Social stories may be used by parents, therapists, or in peer group settings. And home-schooling parents often use social stories effectively. Social stories are used to address many  psychological and social symptoms, including:
    • A lack of imagination in play or expression
    • Consistent shyness, anxiety, and unhappiness
    • Depression during the years of adolescence and early adulthood
    • Difficulty in relationships with others
    • Feelings of isolation from others
    • Obsessions, including irrational fears and anxieties
    • Timidity

      The Importance of Social Stories

      Social stories are a teaching device for kids. The stories are used to teach everyday social skills to youngsters who have a diagnosis of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism. The stories contain accurate and useful information for someone encountering situations that they may find difficult or confusing. The stories approach a topic by describing it in explicit detail and focus on teachable skills needed within the story. A typical social story will discuss a given situation, how someone is expected to react in that situation, and why the reactions are appropriate.

      Deciding on an Appropriate Social Story

      Social stories are individualized in that each youngster is seen as an individual whose problems accompany a diagnosis of Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism.

      An appropriate social story captures the areas of the youngster’s life that are challenging. The Aspie’s behavior is evaluated by parents and teachers at home, in public, and at school. Parents, teachers, and therapists look at the child’s tantrums, withdrawal, social, and escape behaviors. They target these behaviors, and use a social story that addresses the behaviors.

      Here's an example:

      Lining Up—

      At school, we sometimes line up. We line up to go to the gym, to go to the library, and to go out to recess. Sometimes my friends and I get excited when we line up, because we’re going someplace fun, like out to recess. It is okay to get excited, but it is important to try to walk to the line. Running can cause accidents, and my friends or I could get hurt. I will try to walk to the line (the behavioral goal for the child).

      As you can see, social stories are short and to the point. They are structured to describe social situations, explicitly describing what the Aspergers youngster can expect from the situation, and what society expects of the youngster.

      The Benefits of Social Stories

      Social stories are beneficial in that they focus on “theory of mind” impairments (i.e., mind blindness), which are inabilities to understand the feelings and behaviors of others. In addition, social stories not only provide information about social situations, but also help the child learn how to handle them. Socially relevant information, with illustrations and text, have been shown to be highly effective with young people on the autism spectrum.

      Social stories in video format can be viewed here...

      1 comment:

      Sandra Edwards said...

      I would love for you to extend this article to address the 'how to' for sharing these social stories with the older child. I socialized my twice-exceptional Aspie so well that he left 5 best friends behind when we moved. Unfortunately, a horrendous teacher in the supposedly 'best school' sabotaged my son's progress in his new location, and I feel like I need to go back to square one to deal with his social skills regression and feelings of isolation engendered by a teacher who instructed his classmates to 'stay away from' him. These stories are needed to understand how others react to him, but with a 9 year old can't seem like a preschool book.

      My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

      Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

      Click here to read the full article…

      How to Prevent Meltdowns in Aspergers Children

      Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and the Asperger’s child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

      Click here for the full article...

      Parenting Defiant Aspergers Teens

      Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

      Click here to read the full article…

      Aspergers Children “Block-Out” Their Emotions

      Parenting children with Aspergers and HFA can be a daunting task. In layman’s terms, Aspergers is a developmental disability that affects the way children develop and understand the world around them, and is directly linked to their senses and sensory processing. This means they often use certain behaviors to block out their emotions or response to pain.

      Click here to read the full article…

      Older Teens and Young Adult Children With Aspergers Still Living At Home

      Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with Aspergers face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

      Click here to read the full article…

      Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

      Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

      Click here to read the full article…

      Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

      If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

      Click here to read the full article...

      Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

      Parents, teachers, and the general public have a lot of misconceptions of Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism. Many myths abound, and the lack of knowledge is both disturbing and harmful to kids and teens who struggle with the disorder.

      Click here to read the full article...

      My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content