My caseload — as I’m sure is the same yours– is chock full of students with pragmatic language goals. Most of these students also have the diagnosis of autism, making the need for visual aids important to augment verbal instructions.
I’ve been working to develop materials for my youngest students to support their social cognitive development, including my most recent: Interactive Social Stories: Play Skills. The stories included in the packet follow the model developed by Carol Gray (1993) to increase children’s awareness of problematic situations. Each story describes a social problem, as well as why and how children think and feel in the situation. They make explicit what to do and say in each situation. By utilizing an interactive picture format, they capitalize on student’s visual and tactile/kinesthetic processing to facilitate attention and comprehension.
Here’s a look at what’s included in the whole packet:
Here is a look at how I’ve assembled the interactive books:
Each interactive book has a full base. Along the right side of the base are six icons that correspond to pages in the story. With Velcro, attach the matching icons to those on the base. The pages of the story are assembled on the left. As you read each Social Story with your students, have them place the appropriate icon to each page.
I’ve found it useful to present each book in the following manner:
1. Initial instruction: review/read the interactive book together. Each book is designed to reinforce learning through repetitive use of language. You can go through each book numerous times and ask questions such as “what is happening here?”, “what is the first step?”, ” how is she feeling?”. For students who have difficulty describing what is happening, ask questions such as “show me the picture where they are sharing”.
2. Role-playing the skills: act out the skill steps in the order presented. Role playing can begin with the exact situations depicted in the book, and then vary to situations relevant in your student’s life.
3. Provide feedback: always note what was performed correctly and give lots of praise! Avoid telling what was done incorrectly; rather say something like “In this step, here’s how we can make it even better!”
4. Generalization of the skill: opportunities to practice can be created in school and at home. A mini-book is included for each Social Story. I created these in black & white to not only conserve ink, but to provide an opportunity for coloring and discussion. You can assemble these easily with students (just cut & staple!) and send them home for review and generalization.
I hope you find this packet useful for your students! You can find it in my TPT store here. Please let me know how they work for you!