New experiences are scary. I get so nervous and frightened when I have to drive somewhere I have never been and approach someone I have never talked to. Yes, me who loves to talk, gets nauseatingly nervous to talk to new people. Knowing how I feel, I can’t begin to imagine and feel the anxiety and fear that builds up in my own children when they are experiencing something new. This similar thing happens a lot to our children. Luckily, there is a answer and a solution to help make new experiences a positive one. All we have to do is take away to fear of the unknown.
In comes the social story. It is just as it sounds; a story. What is great and impressive of this little aid is it can become completely customizable and a fun DIY project.
So what exactly is it? It is much along the lines of the Bearinstein Bears books. Each story can have your child as the character or another person. You write the story explaining all the steps (in simple detail) of all the events that will happen before, during and after the new experience.
There a multiple ways of creating one. Here are just a few:
1. Snapfish, Blurb, or any photo publishing site that allows book printing.
2. Purchase a cheap small 4×6 photo book and you but the author, artist and publisher.
3. Find clip art or other images online, copy and paste them into a word processing program and add text. Next print and I suggest additionally to laminate them. You can bind them with punching a hike in the corner and clamping with a binder ring.
4. Use a app or computer program, such as a Windows template for creating social stories.
Our ABA introduced them to use years ago to help with experiences from toilet training, air plane rides, new siblings and more. Since then, I have been using the above methods to create my own.