Social Stories

social storiesYou know that feeling when you wish you owned a cardboard cut out of yourself or a universal remote that has a kid button on it. In our house there are are a few behavioural outcomes that need a social rewind button. When we have catastrophic meltdowns it’s usually because we have changed the plan, changed our minds and the kids aren’t as flexible with this process. Some kids develop this concept quite quickly other need to be explicitly taught and time.

Social stories are for everyone. I think every kid or adult can benefits the lessons taught through social stories.

Below is an example of  social story I wrote for my son Gabriel.

What happens if you are feeling angry?
When you feel angry you might have a grumpy face with a frown. Your tummy might be tight and making you feel hot and sick. Sometimes it’s like having a grumpy grump in your tummy telling you to misbehave.
Sometimes you cross your arms and want to be alone.
Sometimes you yell and growl at people.
Sometimes you hit people so they feel as bad as you do.
Sometimes you want everyone to feel like you.
If everyone felt like you, everyone would be sad and everyone would have their arms crossed.
There would be no open arms for hugs and no one to make us feel better.

If you are feeling bad you can ask for:

  • a cuddle
  • some quiet time
  • a story
  • a cup of tea
  • some music

Telling someone how you feel will make you feel better and then everyone can be happy including you.

There is no point in trying to teach the child anything when they are in the throws of a tantrum. Once the major part of the tantrum is over I take myself off to the computer and type up a quick few lines of a story, then I cut it us into segments  and get the child to put the pieces back into order. For my boys cutting paper has always been a calming activity. I can talk calmly through the story while they are working and then move their attention to the story work.

William is now journaling his own feelings as we discuss them. I don’t ever use the kids names in the story as that denotes blame but rather refernce the scenario as nt to lay balame as this come sometimes trigger the event over again.

Check out The New Social Story Book by Carol Gray for a great source of practical information on this topic.