Using Social Stories is a strategy that is likely not new to teachers. However, not all teachers know that they can be used to work with and teach individuals with autism specific skills surrounding social and behavioral needs. Social stories interventions enhance social skill acquisition for many students with autism. What are social stories and how can they be used with students with autism?
A social story is a mini book that describes a social situation and the appropriate social responses. Social stories are individualized for each student and teach a specific desired response. Social stories are written using four sentence types. Descriptive sentences, which provide information about the subject, setting, and action; directive sentences, which describe the appropriate behavioral responses; perspective sentences, which identify the possible feelings and reactions of others; and control sentences, which describe the actions and responses of the story participants. A sample control sentence might be, a puppy barks to get its owner’s attention. Or, Ginny yelled to get the teacher’s attention. It is customary for social Stories to have two to five descriptive, perspective, or control sentences in the story. Writing social stories for lower functioning students or students who have the tendency to over focus on a specific part of the story may require dropping the control sentence.
When creating a social story there are 10 steps that are used: One, identify the target behavior in the problematic situation. Two, define the target behavior. Three, collect baseline data on the target behavior. Four, write a social story using the four-sentence types. Five, present one to three sentences on each page. Six, use photographs and drawings or icons. Seven, read the social story to the student and model the desired behavior for them. Eight, collect data on the target behavior. Nine, review the data and the social story procedures and modify if they are not effective. Ten, plan for maintenance and generalization.
Remember that students with autism frequently do not maintain or generalize skills that they have learned. Although you will ultimately fade the use of a social story, plan activities to assist the student in generalizing skills across content, persons, environment, and situation. Remember to transition the newly acquired skill to the naturally occurring contingencies.ABA, ABA In Schools, Applied Behavior Analysis, applied behavior analysis in school settings, autism, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Children with Autism, Classroom Based Strategies, Classroom Supports, Classroom Supports For Students With Autism, Supporting Students With Autism In Classrooms, Treating Children With Autism, Treatment for ASD, Treatment For Children With Autism
“I’ll be honest, it takes some time to adjust…but once you see it works and you start seeing your child respond, it makes it all worthwhile.”