Pupil Services/Special Ed
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Help your child back to school
Using Social Stories
Dear Penn-Delco Families:
I wanted to thank all who participated in the informational session on August 18, 2020. The PowerPoint presentation is available on the website. The questions were helpful and there was a request for a social story to help students adjust to the forthcoming non-traditional educational model. Here at Penn-Delco, we thought that was a great idea!
You will find a copy of a Penn-Delco Social Story titled “This School Year will be Different, but a lot will be the Same” on the Penn-Delco Webpage. A social story is a documented strategy for “priming” students on the Autism Spectrum. Essentially, that means getting a student ready for something unexpected or novel to minimize anxiety and any potential behavioral problems when the situation arises.
A social story could benefit any child and serve as an opportunity to work alongside your child, practice reading, and prepare them for the uncertain times ahead. Dependent upon the age and ability level of your child, they can take part in the development of the individualized story.
A social story is never utilized as a punishment. It’s something that may be read aloud to or with a child leading up to a transition or change to set expectations; describe some of what they may see, feel, or hear; and ease them through a change.
A social story can evolve over time. As the weeks unfold, feel free to adjust the wording and add to the social story to meet your child’s unique needs, reflect their age and ability levels, and incorporate strategies that you or your teachers have found effective. You will find pictures in our social story and highlighted text (in blue) that can be adjusted to personalize the story for your child, which is the whole idea!
Feel free to include your own pictures. That may include pictures of your child on the computer, wearing a mask, or giving a thumbs up to show they are #PennDelcoProud. However, be mindful that sometimes students on the Autism Spectrum can take pictures quite literally, so be considerate of your child’s needs when selecting pictures.
If you choose to adjust the wording (e.g., increase complexity, limit words, or add to the story), keep in mind that there should be far more descriptive sentences than coaching.
If a story needs to reflect a “negative”, it should be reflective of a group not the individual. For example, instead of saying “I have a hard time remembering to wear my mask” you would say “Sometimes students have a hard time remembering to wear their masks.”
As with all strategies, they work for some and not for others. If you have questions, feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com.
Penn-Delco School District
Supervisor of Special Education