As a mother, I have made some really easy social stories or short stories over the years to explain different situations and events to my son.
Short Stories are a fantastic resource to help people that have a poor understanding of oral communication, people with auditory processing impairments such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Global Developmental Delays.
Small children and people with English as a second language, can benefit from short stories.
Short Stories are sometimes called Social Scripts, Social Narratives.
Social Stories/Short stories can be designed to explain how people are feeling , acceptable behaviour, how to stay safe, what is going to happen in a particular event and how that might make them feel and why we have simple rules to follow.
I used the Short stories to explain not only social situations but certain situations and what is happening at an event and to develop routines.
Short stories can also be a great tool for explaining situations and supporting social skills to small children.
Some of the short stories I have develop are to explain many different scenario’s, such as:
- Explanation of the rules in a soccer game, I used visuals to explain that he could not touch the ball with his hands.
- Death of a family member
- How to take turns
- Explain feelings and emotions
- What will happen on a holiday and the structure for travelling
- Explanation on how to socialise with family and friends
- Developing a toileting routine
EXAMPLE of text in a short story
On Sunday Billy is going to play football. (Insert a picture of playing football)
Billy will wear football shirt, shorts, socks. (Insert picture of playing gear)
Daddy will help Billy to understand when to pass ball. (Insert picture of daddy and ball)
If Billy does not want to play football, he can sit on chair. (Insert a picture of chair)
Tips to making a simple social story
- Limit text, keep text simple.
- Keep text to keywords, for example: “Don’t touch soccer ball with hands.” The more you develop receptive language, the more text you can add to the story.
- use lots of pictures to explain a situation or event.
- Use real life images, if possible.
- Make sure the images are clear and big.
- Social situations and changes to routine can create anxiety for some people. Explain in your story, that it is okay to feel different ways.
- You don’t need a special software package to make a short story, a word document will do.
- Don’t make the story to long
All the best in developing your short stories and don’t forget more pictures, reduce the amount of text/words.
You can find more blogs here with useful simple tips using visual supports as a form of communication and prompting speech for people with a disability.
Till next time
Alison – Mother, Blogger, Founder – See-n-Speak Visual Communication Aids