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November 29, 2010

SOCIAL STORIES ARE POWERFUL

Are you wondering how to deal with all the activities of the upcoming busy season?

Are you concerned about how your child will deal with company arriving for a visit and you’d like to prevent possible meltdowns?

Write a social story (ies) about visitors who will be coming and put photos of your friends/family in the story, especially any you might have of your two families together. That way they won’t be strangers to him and he will know what to expect. Write little stories about things you will be doing together, especially if different from your normal routines. Read these stories several times a day up until they arrive and while they are there if you need to.

If you haven’t used social stories, know that they are a very powerful teaching tool for kids on the spectrum, actually for any kids! They are written in language your child understands, very personal, can include photos and/or graphics, describe a situation well (make it predictable), is not a list or rules or “to dos”, is very positive, can be read repeatedly to reinforce what you are trying to teach and every time it is read the message is EXACTLY the same. The latter is very hard to accomplish when it is not written down. Also when it is written down everyone who reads it is imparting EXACTLY the same message ~ how else can you get such consistency?(the story helps more than just the child!)
Mom, dad, siblings, babysitter, therapist, grandparents, school staff can all be on the same page, imparting the same message ~ it is powerful! I know children, teens and young adults who read and reread their own as needed! Oh and they can all help you write them if capable and appropriate. Some of them may even help take the pictures. There are also many creative ways to present the stories (for another posting)

Keep the stories in a binder in page protectors so they don’t get worn out, because they will be well used. Make more than one copy and send one to school and ask them to read them. They may start writing some for school that you can read at home, you are supporting school efforts and you are well informed of school expectations too! I have written hundreds for many children, teens and young adults and was never disappointed with the results!

Do you use social stories? How old is your child? Would you share one tip that might help other parents or educators who are just starting to use social stories?

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About Jean
Jean Nicol is the Inventor and Patents owner for The Eating Game. She is the owner of the business EYECAN CREATIONS Publications, the home base for all business related to The Eating Game. Jean is a retired Special Education Teacher who is a very passionate autism advocate. Her inspiration for creating The Eating Game was an autistic boy whose family wanted the best for him, starting with good health promoted by healthy eating. The Eating Game accomplished that for him and now many more children and their families around the world. Learn more at http://theeatinggame.ca/ Jean enjoys contact with Eating Game users and will reply to emails as quickly as she can to answer any questions or concerns.

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