Sunday Solutions – No. 2

28 Sep

Social Stories are short descriptions of very particular situations. Some autistic people find them very useful for grasping new situations, as strategies and as tools to assist in learning key skills.

We have learnt with my autistic child that the ‘traditional’ social story is useful but not quite enough. Xe responds better when there is a definite and concrete sensory link to what is being said. For example, when xe started pre-school, we took pictures of the staff that would be there and constructed social stories around who these people were and what xe could expect of them.

Taking that one step further is the idea of constructing mini-presentations as social stories. I have been experimenting with these for 4 or 5 months so far and whilst I have yet to find a perfect balance, they are an upgrade from static pictures.

This tutorial shows you how to use the free online tool Empressr to build truly interactive social stories. For autistic people like my child who are very IT literate, being able to click through as many times as xe likes seems to help. You can also build them with video, audio etc as well as just pictures and text.

I hope this weeks Sunday Solution is of some help.

6 Responses to “Sunday Solutions – No. 2”

  1. alyric September 28, 2008 at 14:35 #

    I think that’s absolutely brilliant and a great improvement on Grey’s static and therefore artificial originals.

  2. Navi September 28, 2008 at 15:50 #


    T’s school makes social stories with photos for the beginning and end of the school year (which coincides with the end and beginning of summer school, for him). I haven’t really figured out whether or not they are particularly helpful, but he doesn’t exactly have any problem with big transitions (little ones, from activity to activity yes. Switching schools, not really, especially since they keep everything static between the schools. It really helped this year that his regular teacher taught for most of the summer.

    That said, he doesn’t really differentiate pictures with pecs, but he does well with objects. Didn’t think of the sensory aspect (I was more wondering if he’d gotten his father’s eyesight…)

  3. misha_k September 28, 2008 at 18:25 #

    This looks interesting. My son is beginning to create stories and visual cues that work for him with Boardmaker, however, he doesn’t like the program all that much. This is something we’ll have to give a try and see if it works better for him.

  4. Kev September 28, 2008 at 19:03 #

    Misha! Good to see you back blogging again 🙂

  5. misha_k September 28, 2008 at 21:22 #

    Thanks, Kev. It feels good to be back and getting in touch with everyone again.

  6. Liz Ditz September 28, 2008 at 22:47 #

    More social stories links: Michelle Garcia Winner’s Social Thinking. Carol Gray’s Social Stories.

    I suspect that getting to know several different “styles” of social stories would help parents construct the type of story most helpful for their child’s unique needs.

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