Social stories can be used to help children with ASD learn skills, break down tasks and learn social responses.
They usually involve a sequence of events that are presented in a story form with short clear sentences and pictures of each step. Social stories can come pre-made or can be developed to suit a specific need for a child. They are often created by parents or professionals to walk children through a step by step sequence to better their understanding.
Social stories can be used to help children process and understand an environment and the ways to respond. This can include going to the hairdresser, doctor or shopping centre. They can also be used to help children prepare for an outing or something new that is about to take place like moving house.
Social stories can be used in a playgroup setting in the following mannner
Social story about:
• Attending playgroup and what happens
• Group time
• Sitting together for morning tea
• Helping each other to pack away
Making a social story is easy and can be done either using a word program or simply taking a photo and sticking them on paper coupled with a short concise sentence. A social story should flow and present a of sequence of events. For example, if making a social story to discuss the process of a playgroup session, you might include the following:
• “We arrive at playgroup and say hello” picture of child waving hello to someone
• “We play with toys inside” picture of the room and different play stations with children playing
• “We help pack away” picture of children putting toys away
• “We wash our hands” picture of parents helping children wash hands
• “We have morning tea together” picture of children sitting together at a table having morning tea
• “We sit on the floor for group time” picture of children and parents sitting on the floor together
• “We sing songs together” picture of children singing
• “We read a book and listen quietly” picture of children looking at a person holding a book and reading
• “We go outside together to play” picture of children playing outside in different activities
• “We play with the parachute together” picture of children and families holding the parachute
• “We say goodbye to everyone” picture of child waving to goodbye to someone
Please find our “Playgroup Social Story Template” which parents can complete by taking photos of their own children participating in activities. They can attach these photos to the template and read the story to their child before attending group to help their child prepare for what is likely to happen.
Note: Always seek parental permission before taking and using a photo of someone else's child.