What happens if you’re the new guy, and you don’t know what to do?
Social stories can be a helpful way to clarify social situations and interactions for children. While often targeted for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), there are other types of children that can be helped by these stories. Children with challenges in social language, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, and cognitive challenges can be supported by these stories.
While I say “the new guy” tongue in cheek, it is a real thing in a way. For some children who misunderstand or misinterpret social situations, they are the “new guy” and don’t necessarily know what to do. Social stories add clear language to these confusing situations and helps to demystify them for children.
Social stories should:
Explain the current behavior (I know it’s hard to meet new people. Sometimes I don’t know what to say.)
Explain the targeted behavior (I know that when I say “hi,” it makes it easier to start a conversation).
Offer alternatives (I can say “hi,” “what’s up,” or even just wave to let people know that I see them).
Resolve the situation positively (Mom and Dad will be so happy with me when I say “hi” to new people. I love when Mom and Dad are happy with me).
While it is easy enough to put together a social story in Word or Google Docs, I find that there are 3 apps which make the process seamless, and dare I say, even easy and enjoyable…. Gasp!
Book Creator: both the iPad and Chrome versions of this app are stellar. I have been using the Chrome version more recently with a short learning curve on how to import pictures from either OneDrive through my district PCs or through Google Drive.
My favorite way is certainly through the iPad. As I have shared in other stories, you can set up iCloud Photo Sharing and share pictures back and forth from families. From there, it is an easy import into Book Creator to make your social story.
When you are all done, you can share out as a video (if your child recorded their voice, as a PDF for reading anywhere, or as a true iBook to be read on the iPad.
Pictello: when I first began creating social stories, this was my go-to for a long time. It shares same ease of sharing pictures from the iPad and also allows you to share out via PDF and video.
The sharing feature across devices has worked for me, but requires a parent to invest in Pictello. From what I can tell, there is no way to view a true “Pictello” story without the app. The PDFs and videos work great though!
Pic Collage: Yes, the same Pic Collage you use to create those wonderful photo spreads of your vacation so your friends can drool at your vacation and also say “How the heck did they get those photos all in one image??”
Seriously through, Pic Collage is a lot of fun for putting together multiple photos to show a fun day or event. But for social stories, it’s great for showing a sequence.
If the watermark bugs you, it’s worth the 2$ to remove it. Otherwise, this app allows you to share a few pictures together in one image to show the steps in a process. It’s quite simple to use and the images you can create can be easily imported into Book Creator or Pictello!
Social stories can be an incredibly effective way of helping clarify social situations for children. It is easy to make them as long as mindful of the current behavior, the target behavior, any available alternative behaviors, and a positive resolution. Some apps like Book Creator, Pictello, and Pic Collage can streamline the process.
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