Social Stories explain social situations to children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The stories help children learn socially appropriate behavior and responses.
What is a social story?
People with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often misunderstand or don’t pick up on social cues like body language, facial expressions, gestures or intonation.
Social Stories (Carol Gray, 1990) can be used to show children with ASD how to behave in social settings. The stories help children understand social settings because they explicitly point out details that the child may not understand or notice.
The stories are tailor-made for the individual and written from the child’s perspective. Stories are often written in the first person.
We know that visual supports are beneficial for many people with ASD. In addition, there is a growing body of research showing the benefits of video modeling expected behavior in realistic contexts. (Bellini & Akullian, 2007; Chen, Lee, Lin, 2015; Nikopulous & Keenan, 2007; Shukla-Mehta, Miller, & Callahan, 2009).
Social stories, or video models are often created long AFTER the event. Consequently, the intervention context is delayed.
There are some inherent difficulties when creating and reading the social-story.
- It takes time to create a written social story with visual support.
- The story can only be read to the student once it has been prepared. The story needs to be read regularly together with the student to facilitate change.
- It is not always easy to make adjustments to a story particularly when visual supports are incorporated. Adjustments take additional time.
- In order to use a social story in context, one may have to artificially recreate the context. This is not always an option.
- Social stories may not always be accurate, because they are based on reported information from the parent/ school/teacher etc.
The Solution – Plotagon
Plotagon enables you to quickly create a social story ‘on the fly’ which can be played for the student in context with a video model.
The student can watch the video model of the story, and see the event ‘re-enacted’ with the appropriate social response. The information is more accurate, because the person who observes the event, creates the story.
Here is a perfect example: L is a 16 year-old boy with ASD. He arrived for his session and went to the bathroom, but he left the door wide open. By the time he returned to the room, I had created the social story below for him.
He no longer leaves the door open when he uses the bathroom.
We created the character for this story together when we worked on greetings. He chose the mustache, sunglasses and clothing when creating the character.
We have also worked on the concept of private/public places, so this was the perfect time to extend the concept to a different context.
More detail can easily be added to the story at a later stage. Often the first draft needs adjusting, but as long as the general principles of writing a social story are adhered to, it serves the purpose.
There are so many ways to use Plotagon…..
Episode 2 of Plotagon, coming soon.