Friday, 9 September 2011

Social stories, by the Support for Learning Teacher

Last week, Mrs Irvine, Mrs Brodie and I received training from two VTSS teachers on social stories.  A social story is a tool to help children with communication difficulties understand situations that can be perplexing and confusing.  Essentially, they are written explanations of life's grey areas.

This means that sometimes stories are about situations that could be slightly embarrassing, like toileting or farting.  But these things can be confusing to a person who is Autistic: when exactly are we allowed to do these things?  

I have tried writing my own social stories in the past, but it was good to have this training.  I've come to realise that I added too much detail to previous stories: the last one I wrote had 10 pages!  Ooops!  From the training, I learned that the stories should be to the point - concise.  So unlike myself.

We were encouraged to use this approach on the cuff: we could literally write one in front of the child and read it to him or her then and there.  So Mrs Irvine wrote the story below.  I'm pretty sure she or Mrs Brodie only read the story once, but it is no longer an issue and we didn't even need to send the story home.

I'm looking forward to using this approach more in the future.

Written by Ms Childs

You can find out more about social stories at

I should stop making burping noises

Often in class we need to sit quietly.
In my classroom, I make burping noises.
When I burp Mrs Irvine, Mrs Brodie and the other children in my class don't like it.
It is not OK to burp in class.
I must try not to burp in class.
If I can do this Mrs Irvine, Mrs Brodie and the other children in the class will be happy.

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