By: Rita Massullo & Caroline Ensor
• Engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements
• Resistance to environmental changes or changes in daily routines
• Unusual responses to sensory experiences.
As autism classroom teachers, we are presented frequently with questions from parents on how to introduce new activities, go through routines of the day and how to decrease anxieties which can cause behaviors.
Social stories are a great tool used to describe and/or teach a situation, skill or concept. The purpose of a social story is to improve the child’s understanding of the situation, skill or concept. They can share accurate information using a process, format, voice and content that is meaningful and physically, socially and emotionally safe for the child. For example:
1. I am starting a new school
2. I can eat new foods
3. I can go to the park
4. I can play with my friends
As we share this information with families on how to write social stories, we remind them to keep their child’s developmental level in mind, as they create a goal focused social story. Other factors to consider are length of the story, real vs. cartoon pictures, using “I” language and maintaining a positive and patient tone.
There are a lot of resources out there, including free templates and examples. Here are a couple links that we have found helpful for our families.
1) Social Stories and Resources
2) Educate Autism - Social Stories
3) Challenging Behavior - Social Story Tips
Can you think of a social story to share with us about Choosy? We would love to start a social story collection!
In addition, join us in celebration for 2015 National Autism Awareness Month! #AutismUniquelyYou is a month-long social media campaign in April celebrating uniqueness and acceptance. It’s a simple concept – hand painting for a cause and raising awareness for the Autism Society. The campaign encourages people to paint their hands, make a video or take a picture of a unique product, share it on social media, and urge others to do the same! Share this how-to video with others.
Nearly a quarter century ago, the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion and self-determination for all, and assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life. A popular way to promote autism awareness is to wear the Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon.
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