Introduction to Social Stories

Otterman on Social Stories Pt 1

Social stories are narratives that demonstrate real-life scenarios and problems. They also illustrate ways kids can deal with those situations. Social stories are especially useful to help kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) understand social expectations and ways to communicate with others in a socially acceptable manner. By previewing and reviewing we can reduce student stress and develop real life skills needed to improve outcomes. Social stories help teach students social life skills and promote independence.

I use Speech Kingdom's social stories with students on the autism spectrum, those with social issues, behavior issues, developmental delays, traumatic brain injury, and with other comprehension challenges. They help me "front load" a student before a new experience, or allow a student to revisit a situation that had an undesirable outcome. Social stories teach skills that are requrired for successful future experiences.

Speech Kingdom's social stories are a part of some students' everyday routines. Routines provide children security, stability, and predictability. Routines are even more important for children with special needs. For these children, routines are an important tool that helps reduce stress and anxiety.

Speech Kingdom social stories offer strategies that I may not have previously tried. Often, teachers have attempted multiple strategies, or simply have not been provided with the necessary tools to be successful with our special needs students. Speech Kingdom is the missing piece that fills this gap.

I have provided a breakdown of some of Speech Kingdom's social stories below. I explain the difference between Speech Kingdom social stories and other social stories. These descriptions are intended to help the reader to better understand the components so that the app can be used to its full potential. At the end of the descriptions, I provide an example of a step-by-step process that will guide you through aspects of some of their social stories.

Overview and Background

Before You Begin

There is no formula that represents the "one way" to utilize social stories. They have been used in a variety of ways but most effectively when adapted for individual students. This should continue to be the case. I have tried to provide a helpful starting point for those who have not yet used Speech Kingdom's social stories. If you have not yet taken the time to look through the menu of social stories, I suggest that you take a few moments and do so right away.

Speech Kingdom is authentic and proves its authenticity by using actors who are actually on the Autism Spectrum for the voices of the Speech Kingdom characters.

The time it takes to complete a Speech Kingdom social story varies greatly, depending on your student's needs and the developmental level of the story (see below). As my students and I become more familiar with the Speech Kingdom program, and the stories I have used (so far), our screen time decreases. As my students begin to internalize the skills, the need to return to specific stories decreases and I can keep moving on to new topics. I use social stories as an important tool as I continuously work toward my students' success.