Social stories were introduced to us by Lilly’s ABA therapists a couple of years ago, and have proven to be one of the most valuable tools in our arsenal to modify her behaviors.
What is a social story? They were created by a woman named Carol Gray in 1991. They are short, concise descriptions of events that may possibly trigger a negative behavior. It’s basically a means of preparing and prepping for an event or situation because, for children with autism, the unexpected can lead to chaos.
There are hundreds of templates for socials stories on the net, but I began doing my own because I found that the more personalized it is, the better it works for Lilly. I use pictures of her and insert characters that she likes or can relate to. I have also been able to use pictures of her school, and places that we have gone rather than generic pics or clipart.
We have had great success with these. There are still situations that trigger her or set her off, but for the most part, reading these consistently has reduced her behaviors so much. I have even found her reading these on her own sometimes, and she keeps a copy of each at school if she needs a little reminder.
To make these I just used Microsoft Word, and played around with the fonts and pictures. For pictures that I couldn’t personalize specifically to her, I used free clip art and stock pictures.
We have quite a collection going, with more to come, I’m sure!