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Wednesday 22 Nov 2017

Stories aren’t just for bedtime anymore!!

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Article by Stephanie Ekis, MS, CCC-SLP
Did you know that you can write simple stories to help your child get through a situation that might be difficult or confusing? These stories are very easy to write and can be created to include information that is specific to your child.  These types of stories are often called Social StoriesTM.  The goal of Social Story is to increase the child’s understanding of, make him /her more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question.  Social stories can be in paper form or can be programmed onto an AAC device (e.g., Maestro).  Since we are discussing toileting, feeding and sleeping during the month of March, I thought I would discuss stories specific to these topics.

A story for using the bathroom might include:

  • The bathroom routine
    • Pulling down/pull up pants
    • Flush toilet
    • Wash hands
  • Things to do while in the bathroom
    • Read a magazine or book
    • Call for help
  • Why using the bathroom is important

Tip 1:  If your child has a favorite character (e.g., Spiderman), write the story about the character in a specific situation. Add graphics to make the story more interesting for them.

Tip 2: Use repetitive lines so that your child can participate in retelling the story!

A story for eating might include:

  • The mealtime routine
    • Sit at the table
  • Expected behaviors
    • No throwing food
    • Try new things
  • Why eating is important

A story for bedtime might include information about:

  • The bedtime routine
    • brushing teeth
    • putting on pajamas
    • laying down on the bed
    • listening to a story
  • Expected behaviors
  • Stay in bed
    • Close eyes
    • Go to sleep
  • Why sleeping is important
    • Keeps you healthy
    • Your body needs rest

Tip 3:  Read your stories every day. Your child might not attend in the beginning, but make social story reading a part of the daily routine.

Tip 4: Use photographs of your child participating in the activity to make it meaningful.

Write a story today! It might feel a little awkward at first, but you will get the hang of it. Use the ideas above to create a story that might help your child better understand a particular situation that might be difficult for them.

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