October 27, 2020 | Guest Speaker: Sarah Bays, Field Training Coordinator – KATC, Stella Beard

Stella: Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today for Kentucky SPINs Tuesday Tips webinar. Today, we’re going to be talking about social narratives and we have Sarah Bays with us again this week, which I’m so excited that she is our speaker today.

[00:00:15] I want to give you all just a little bit of information. My name is stella Beard, I am the Assistant Director for Ken...

Stella: Good morning everyone and thank you for joining us today for Kentucky SPINs Tuesday Tips webinar. Today, we’re going to be talking about social narratives and we have Sarah Bays with us again this week, which I’m so excited that she is our speaker today.

[00:00:15] I want to give you all just a little bit of information. My name is stella Beard, I am the Assistant Director for Kentucky SPIN.

[00:00:23] And I want to go over a little housekeeping with you before we get started. On the right-hand side of your screen, you will see a dashboard, in that dashboard you have a dropdown box, that have questions that you can type in your questions. Or also that we have a chat feature, if you would like to use that, you’re more than welcome to do that. We will be answering questions throughout the presentation, so please feel free to drop those questions in that box. And Kellie, who is our Training Coordinator, is on the call with me too. And so she’ll be watching for questions, I’ll be watching for questions as Sarah is doing our presentation today.

[00:01:01] Also there’s a down box with some handouts there. Feel free to download those handouts, but also know we will send a follow-up email that’ll have a link to all of the handouts in case you want to just pay attention to the webinar today and not take time to download those handouts.

[00:01:20] I want to tell you a little bit about Kentucky SPIN, if this is your first time on one of our webinars, we are the special, I’m sorry, Kentucky SPIN is the Special Parent Involvement Network, or we like to call herself Kentucky SPIN.

[00:01:35] We are the parent training and information center for the state of Kentucky. And we’re funded by the U.S. Department of Education under the individuals with disabilities education act. And we have been the parent training and information center for the state of Kentucky since 1988. And we just received funding again for another five years.

[00:01:56] So we are so excited that we get to continue to work with children and youth and families with all types of disabilities, birth through age 26. So I’m very excited, that we’re still going to be able to do that in Kentucky.

[00:02:12] We do not act as attorneys. However, we empower families to effectively advocate for their children. And we also provide that peer support to help families access needed information and resources. All of our staff, consultants are either parents who have a child or a young adult with an intellectual or developmental disability. They either have a disability themselves, or they’re a sibling of someone who has a disability. So I love that approach that we can have to help families, during that most difficult time.

[00:02:47] I myself have a 24 year old son, Clayton, who has an intellectual disability. So this is something that is not only my job, but it is my life pretty much 24/7. And so I love that I’m able to connect with families that way.

[00:03:04] We show this slide almost at every one of our webinars and it says together we can accomplish great things for our children! None of us have all the answers and we were all working for this pandemic and adjusting as we go.

[00:03:17] As we know, we are going through some very difficult times right now and so everyone has had to adjust their lives. And so this affects our children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a whole other way. I know it has affected my son, where he is not able to get out in the community as much as he wants. And our children are doing a lot of virtual learning. And so things are just definitely different right now. And they look different for our kids.

[00:03:48] And so I’m excited today that we have a wonderful, wonderful presenter and speaker Sarah Bays, who is a Field Training Coordinator with the Kentucky Autism Training Center and she is going to give us some great, examples today. I looked through her PowerPoint, it’s wonderful on social narratives, social stories. And so I’m very, very excited. We use social stories a lot, for Clayton, even as an adult for him. It has really helped him adjust to things as, especially during the pandemic. And so it’s kind of one of those things that I’m excited to hear some more examples about.

[00:04:31] So Sarah, can you, you hear me?

[00:04:35] Sarah: I can. I have now un-muted myself. So hopefully you can hear me.

[00:04:41] Stella: I can. So I am going to give you some powers here.

[00:04:50] Sarah: Oh boy, here we go.

[00:04:51] Stella: Yes. Yes. So you are able to show your screen and get things going. So let’s see if this works.

[00:05:06] Sarah: All right. And I think I have it.

[00:05:09] Stella: It worked!

[00:05:11] Sarah: Hopefully I, —

[00:05:11] Stella: Yay! It worked perfect!

[00:05:12] Sarah: — slides and not my 8,000 other windows open, although it’s not too bad today. I’ve, gone through and really closed my tabs —

[00:05:19] Stella: No it’s perfect!

[00:05:23] Sarah: And also in my screen, so, thank you for that excellent introduction. I will be trying to keep an eye on questions and chat throughout. I know a lot of those, I think go straight to the organizer. So either Stella or Kellie, whoever all from Kentucky SPIN is on that call can chime in if we get those.

[00:05:43] Also, I definitely plan to leave some time at the end for questions. I’m willing to bet there are some different people on today with different experiences with social narratives. Some may have just heard it. Some may have seen some floating around, especially during these days, that well, I say days it’s been months now, these months that are very kind of still new and scary to us. Social stories and social narratives have really become a popular tool to use right now because so much of our world has been turned upside down. Some of you may use social narratives with your loved ones and maybe have found them to be successful, maybe not so successful. And you’re looking for tips or other ideas.

[00:06:28] I’m also going to share a lot of resources at the end. I know our time together is limited so I want to make sure that if you have other questions that don’t get answered today, that you have places to go. You’ll also have my contact information to reach out if there are any other questions or clarification I can help with.

[00:06:49] So just a little bit about myself and the Kentucky Autism Training Center. If you have, or have not heard about us, we are another statewide center. We do so many partnerships with Kentucky SPIN and for those I’m very thankful. None of us can do the work that we do without successful collaborations. We are a statewide training center and we go all over Kentucky, not physically these days, but we go remotely now to every County of Kentucky that wants or needs information on autism.

[00:07:21] A lot of our work is out in schools. We also do a lot of parent trainings. We support parent’s support groups, parent’s summits throughout the years. We also do first responder trainings and many other outreach and collaborations across the state.

[00:07:43] Let’s see, hopefully I have gone to the next slide. Stella, can you just give me a yes or no if we’re good to go on the slides?

[00:07:51] Stella: You are good to go. I see it perfectly. It’s the evidence based practices.

[00:07:56] Sarah: Perfect! So this is a slide that if you’ve been to any KATC trainings, you’ve probably seen something similar to this. And the reason is we know that educators don’t have time to waste. Parents don’t have time to waste. Other professionals don’t have time to waste. We solely focus on topics and techniques and strategies that have been proven over multiple years, multiple research studies, multiple practitioners to be effective specifically for individuals with autism.

[00:08:29] But also take a look so many of these are used with other individuals, whether they do or do not have disabilities. So although I’m coming from the world of autism, please know that, you know, if your loved one or a person you support has a developmental disability, or something like ADHD or some other disability, please know that these will still be effective for them if you use them appropriately.

[00:08:54] So today we’re going to be focusing on those social narratives. They are one of the now 28 evidence-based practices, for individuals with autism based out of our new report from NCAEP. The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence in Practice. And I’ll go ahead and let you know, towards the end, I’m going to share some free modules for training. So if you see something else on this list that you’re really interested in and want to know more about, there are lots of free training modules that you can access. Also, if you want to dive a little bit deeper into social narratives.

[00:09:33] And as I mentioned earlier, we want to focus on what research has proven to work. We aren’t here to waste anyone’s time. We want to make sure that we are using the sharpest tools that we can. We don’t want to fall down that rabbit hole of those fad interventions, things that we may see, or we may hear, and we kind of have some doubts in our minds, like well is that really effective or not? It may work with one or two people, but does that work consistently over time when used correctly?

[00:10:04] So again, please, if you’re trying to find some sort of tool or an invention, I encourage you to start with that list of evidence-based practices first.

[00:10:17] So let’s jump right in. You may have noticed that the title of today is social narratives and not social stories. And I’m going to get into that in just a moment. But in general, social narratives, they’re going to describe some sort of social situation. Oftentimes it’s some sort of new situation or some sort of difficult situation that they need help navigating. There’s going to be relevant cues, explaining feelings that the individual may have or thoughts that they may have as well as feelings or thoughts of other people who are in this situation with them.

[00:10:52] And typically there’s some sort of teaching aspect in the social narrative as to what behavior or what expected behavior would be desirable in that context or in that situation. So that’s a pretty technical definition, but just know it’s going to help a learner, whether they have autism or not navigate some sort of social situation. And again, typically it’s something, some new situation or a challenging situation.

[00:11:23] There are actually six different types of social narratives that have been identified over the years. There are, some of these I had never heard of until recently something like a social autopsy. That just sounds so odd, but it is a thing. Today we’re going to be primarily focusing on social stories and power cards, mainly because that’s where the bulk of the research has been done.

[00:11:48] There have been studies year after year after year, proving that they can be effective. I’m also going to touch slightly on comic strip conversations. That will be towards the end of our time together today. But just know there are many other types of social narratives, again they just may not have a strong as strong of a research base.

[00:12:11] Here and you’ll have this in your copy of the slides if you’ve accessed that, hopefully it’s not too small to see on your screen. But these are just some brief definitions of those six different types of social narratives. And again, we’re going to primarily talk about social stories since those are kind of the most common and the most research based as well as power cards. Those are some that you may or may not have heard of, but they can be a great tool to use as well.

[00:12:39] And I know Stella mentioned at the beginning, she already uses social stories with her son. So some of you on here, you may be using these already and you may think, oh, well, I’ve been using a social story for this, maybe a power card could be effective in addition, or as well.

[00:12:56] So again, at the end, you’re going to have access to those training modules. And so some of these, I definitely know that the social stories and the power cards that we’re talking about today will be in the AFIRM modules, but the other ones will be in the autism internet modules. And I’ll try to be sure to remember to bring that up again towards the end.

[00:13:20] So just again, when to use social narratives? You may be asking yourself like, why? Why would I do this? Why would I go find a social narrative? Or why would I spend the time to create one myself? Or maybe why is my child’s teacher using social narratives in school? Or sending them home for my child to read?

[00:13:40] Typically, and you know, this isn’t necessarily best practice, but oftentimes it’s after something has gone wrong, right? Sometimes we’ve gotten into a situation and we’re like, oh, we may need to have a teaching opportunity for that. Or we may need an extra support here. So sometimes it’s after some sort of social error has occurred, you know, a child or a learner has done something maybe unexpected or a bit undesirable, and we need an extra teaching tool to use.

[00:14:08] Sometimes, and this is as Stella and I mentioned at the beginning, so many learners are using social narratives right now because we are all experiencing a whole new world right now. You know, even something like going to a doctor’s office looks different now. You know, we wait in the car, we have to, we go straight into the doctor there are no, you know, flipping through magazines in the waiting room or watching the TV in there. Our doctors look different now. They have all kinds of extra gear. So things that we knew are no longer that way.

[00:14:42] So transitions are a big time or starting a new job, you know, what am I going to expect? What do I need to prepare for this new job or a new school? Or even moving to a new house? If any of you are navigating that during this time. And again, sometimes it’s just an intervention. If there’s some sort of behavior that we really need to try to reduce, if it’s something that is either interrupting daily life or can sometimes even be something that’s dangerous or really distracting to that learner or their loved ones.

[00:15:20] Some additional topics. A lot of these, again, will factor around some sort of social aspect. So, you know, making friends, having conversations, going out and new experiences in the world. And again, knowing that those look a lot different these days. Things like sportsmanship, you know how to lose a game and still want your friends to play that game with you again. And preparing for events. All those nice social transition phases of our life from birth to all through adulthood, social narratives can be used at any developmental age.

[00:15:59] I’m going to start with power cards cause these may be something that are new to some of you. But they’re a nice little strategy to use without having to go through the more lengthy process of writing a social story.

[00:16:14] So power cards are written in first person. You know, all of these strategies, we want to be individualized to that person, right. Sometimes we just need to Google and find one of these resources. I’ll give you access here at the end to pre-made social stories. But if possible, use those just as a guide and create something much more specific to that individual person.

[00:16:41] You know, so power cards and social stories aren’t necessarily things that in a classroom we use for the whole group, right. They are specific to Johnny or to Susie. They have their own.

[00:16:55] Power cards are a little bit different in that they are tied to some sort of special interest. So some sort of character, a superhero, oftentimes we’ll see a celebrity, someone that the learner is really interested in and would want to maybe learn from, or hear from. Then they’re going to provide just a few short steps on how to either solve a problem they’re experiencing or to, you know, act a bit more socially acceptable in a situation.

[00:17:27] And what I like most about power cards, especially for, school age learners, but even as for adults, you know, to be more independent is that it’s not their mom telling them to do these things. It’s not their teacher telling them to do these things. It’s kind of like their special  interest is telling them to do these things.

[00:17:45] And I’ve got a lot of different examples here to show you, so this one I wanted to share first, mainly because it has an excellent teaching point. So you can scan through this one, it was for a learner who loved “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. I don’t even know if he’s still around these days. I might have to do some searching on the internet to see what, see what Steve Austin’s up to these days. But there was a learner who wanted to be “Stone Cold”, you know, he would stomp around. He would use that same stage voice as “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. And didn’t necessarily know when to turn that on and off. So this power card was created for him to learn, you know, when is it okay to act like “Stone Cold”? And when do I need to act like myself?

[00:18:35] But this, I think it’s in the second paragraph there, talking about offstage Steve Austin talks in a library voice to his children. When he reads stories to them at night, he does not hurt his wife or children by choking them or stomping on them. He is off stage just like me. And the person who wrote this for the learner quickly learned that at the time of this creation “Stone Cold” Steve Austin did not have children and the learner quickly corrected them as to that. So definitely do your research a little bit, learn as much about that special interest or that person or that character as you can, so that the power card is authentic and it doesn’t immediately get thrown out because “Stone Cold” Steve Austin doesn’t have kids. This is irrelevant, I’m not going to listen to this.

[00:19:22] So a nice little learning opportunity for you there at the beginning. Some other examples, this one here on the left is a free principle from Victories and Autism, which will be linked towards the end.

[00:19:36] And these are actually three different power cards for a learner who’s really interested in the movie Cars. And so the first one, you know, talking about checking your schedule independently. And it’s a nice little reminder for them. The middle one is, you know, a power card about greeting other people, saying hi. And then the third one, a third power card still kind of around the theme of Cars, about not having to be first every time especially in line as you’re going somewhere in class.

[00:20:09] Another one about Spider-Man, you know, what are some things that your learner needs to be reminded of? And you want to be like Spiderman, right? He does these things.

[00:20:22] These are for any Star Wars lovers out there. These were, two created for some learners who loved Star Wars. And the first one is very simple and this is all a power card really needs to be, you know, how can you control your dark side? And those forces that can be at play? What are, maybe three things that you can do.

[00:20:44] And again, they’re individualized. These are specific to that person. This learner, some of their coping skills and strategies were to go outside to swing, asked for more time on the computer, or, you know, go in your room and turn the lights off for a little bit.

[00:20:58] And then the other one would be more for, probably an older learner who has some stronger reading abilities. Cause again, these are things that the learner is going to be using independently. They will be kept in a pocket or in a wallet or somewhere small that they can access any time.

[00:21:17] They would probably only have one, maybe two power cards at a time. You know, we don’t want a kid pulling out a whole key ring full of 10 power cards, because then they’ve got to flip through. It’s not as accessible. So something small that they can keep and they can access as a little reminder.

[00:21:36] Just a few more, there was a learner, these were taken from some of those training modules, I’m going to share with you. But you know, a learner who would always leave their trumpet laying around and this person loved Louis Armstrong wanted to be just like him. So they made a power card for him about, you know, taking care of your trumpet, just like Louis Armstrong does.

[00:21:59] And then a few kind of geared around construction workers and you guys have access to read all of these, in your PDF of the slides.

[00:22:10] I’m going to pause for a moment. Stella, or Kellie, have there been any questions or comments that have come through yet?

[00:22:18] Stella: I don’t see anything right now. But just as a reminder to everyone, please feel free to type your questions in that question box and we’ll be sure Sarah gets them.

[00:22:28] Sarah: Yeah. And I know there’s a bit of a delay on those. So if you think of something, go ahead and type it in cause I know at the end there may be a delay and we may think, oh, there’s no questions. So just as you think about it, type it in there, and we’ll have some time at the end for additional discussions.

[00:22:45] So now jumping into probably the reason you guys are all here. You’re like, forget the power cards let’s get to the good stuff. Let’s talk about social stories. And these are trademarked, that’s again, why this training was called social narratives, because I was covering that general category of social narratives in general.

[00:23:03] Social stories are a very specific, almost prescriptive type of story that had been the brainchild of Carol Gray. And you’ll find out more about her in a moment.

[00:23:15] But in general, social stories, again are written from the learner’s perspective. They are something individualized, to that person. It’s not something about Billy down the street because well, that’s Billy’s world. That’s Billy’s thing to deal with, why do I need to care about that? It’s written for that specific learner and for their comprehension level.

[00:23:37] So I’ll share a few with you of different reading abilities, different developmental levels. Again, just to show these can be used at any developmental or age level.

[00:23:49] The length needs to be appropriate. None of these should be 20 pages long, just like a power card. They should be quick. They should be accessible.

[00:23:59] And then we’re going to talk about sentences here in a little bit, but we don’t want them to be bossy. You know, we don’t want the social story to say, start doing this, stop doing this and be kind of griping. They need to be teaching opportunities and ways to learn kind of why a situation is the way it is.

[00:24:21] So some things to consider, if you are using social stories, if you’re going to create a social story, does it need to be read with an adult or independently? When are we going to read these? You know, we definitely don’t want to, especially if the story is written for a challenging situation, we don’t want to wait until we’re in the middle of that challenging situation to pull the story out. You know, sometimes we need to read it an hour before we’re heading out to the doctor, then maybe 30 minutes before we’re getting ready to go. And then maybe even when we get in the car. Sometimes we have to read them multiple times.

[00:24:57] Do we need some added role play or some video modeling to show, to truly show what to say or do in these social, social situations? And again, there’s going to be lots of practice, you know, it’s like learning to walk, you know, we don’t immediately just go from crawling to walking. We have some stumbles, we need multiple times. Sometimes we need someone to hold our hand. There’s going to be lots of opportunities to practice and read these stories before the learner is truly comfortable and fluent in these social situations.

[00:25:31] Sometimes you need to build in some sort of prompting to remind them of some skills or strategies to use or some reinforcement for, you know, getting through a successful day.

[00:25:41] And then also now we can think of format. Are these gonna be stories that they pull up on a cell phone or an iPad? Do we need a physical paper copy of the book? What is the story gonna look like? How are they easily able to access these? Especially for learners, you know, in middle or high school, they can pull out their iPad or their iPhone or their whatever i device they have or whatever, Chromebook. And they could go through their social stories independently, without anyone knowing what they’re doing.

[00:26:15] You can even use things like voiceover so that they could press play and have the story read to them. Lots of ways to make them accessible to your learners.

[00:26:27] There is a handout that you have, and I included it as a word document, mainly because this is what I use, personally. I just kind of created this from some different resources. And it’s something that, if I am typically out in schools, working with teachers and students, and if we get to some situation where we need to create a social story, I open up this word document.

[00:26:51] So if you haven’t already done, so I encourage you to go over to that handouts drop down and click on that word document called social stories sentence types. And I keep it as a word document because I pull it up on my computer and I start drafting out my sentences here on this document to make sure that I have the different types of sentences that Carol Gray has outlined as appropriate for a social story.

[00:27:17] Now, some stories won’t need all of these. If I’m doing it for, you know, an early childhood learner, I’ll maybe just have a few sentences. If it’s for a high school student, I could probably have more sentences, then desire. But making sure that we have a variety of sentence types. So this is a resource again, I just created it. It’s nothing super technical, but I use this as my kind of rough draft and planning document as I make social stories.

[00:27:49] You’re going to want to have some descriptive sentences, you know, really outlining when and where this situation is going to happen. Who all is involved? Again, being specific, naming specific names of a teacher of a sibling who all is involved.

[00:28:05] The perspective sentences are also going to be a bulk of your story. You know, really bringing to light that different people have different opinions and feelings. That these stories typically are to help us interact more successfully with other people, or to help other people, you know, become more comfortable or help us navigate some situations and understand, you know, that my doctor’s not there to hurt me. My doctor’s here to help me feel better.

[00:28:35] Directive sentences. You know, just a few of those of what would you want your learner to maybe do instead, or to help remember to do in these situations. And notice that there’s only one or two of those. We don’t want, again, these to be bossy stories.

[00:28:52] Some affirmative sentences kind of just general principles of life. You know, some things that emphasize that this is something that, you know, most people would deem important. Things that we all kind of would agree is something, you know, like it’s good to be polite or, you know, I need to consider other people.

[00:29:14] Control, if there are additional tools or strategies that this person is going to need to use, whether they need to refer to some other resource.

[00:29:24] And then cooperative, you know, especially with early learners. Like, will my parents help me with this? Will my teacher help me with this? If so, how often?

[00:29:36] Here is a early learner story. We had to create for a kiddo in a school who, you know, love to hug people. And whereas that’s not necessarily a bad thing, you know, hugs are good most. Now these days we can’t really go hugging everyone, this one was a few years ago. But knowing that when you are just hugging people all day long, and you’re getting up out of your chair and running across to hug someone for answering a question correctly, that’s kind of getting in the way of your learning and the learning of others.

[00:30:07] So this was a story we had to create for a little guy. And I just wanted to show you that they’re visual. You know, especially for your early learners, they need to rely on the pictures more so than the words. Cause this one would be read to that child. This one was created using LessonPix, which is my favorite, online tool. And I’ll have a link for that for you guys at the end.

[00:30:34] So I’m going to give you a moment and you can read through from left to right, top to bottom is the way the pages go.

[00:30:47] And this one was again to teach this little guy, some additional strategies. So, you know, instead of a hug, what are some other things we can do? So we wanted to make sure that we had some other options. You know, what are things that this child was physically able, and you know, he could rely on these other behaviors instead. He was able to wave and say hello. He was able to give a thumbs up and say, good job. He was able to give high fives. So we gave him some kind of replacement behaviors or some alternative behaviors in case someone didn’t necessarily want a hug.

[00:31:27] And then that just shared belief, you know, we should always ask before we touch someone else, that’s just kind of a basic principle of life.

[00:31:37] So one for, you know, an older learner. These were taken out of a book, I have linked here at the end, a book by Carol Gray, again the guru of all social stories. I have her book right here in front of me and I use it often.

[00:31:53] She has so many pre-made social stories, but also just a nice example to use. You know, if you’re experiencing something similar at home, especially during these days where, you know, what is an hour of time? We don’t know. What is two hours of time? We’re not sure. Time is a relative concept these days.

[00:32:13] But learning how to share a bathroom with, you know, parents or a sibling. And so this is one that she had. And so I want you to take a moment and read through this and see if you can identify some of those sentence types. So I will stay quiet for at least a minute or two, let you read through here and see what kind of sentence types you can find.

[00:32:41] [silence]

[00:33:02] Has anyone found one yet?

[00:33:10] You can either use that slide before that had that blue table, or I typically use that word document again. So let’s see some that I pulled out of here. Descriptive, right there at the beginning. You know, Carol Gray, when she wrote this, she was describing where it’s an our house and our two bathrooms. Who, well, mom, dad, my sister, Emily, my brother, Austin, and me. Really setting the stage and describing, who, what, where, when and why.

[00:33:45] Bringing in the perspective of the siblings, right? Emily and Austin, they need to use this bathroom too. They use the toilet like I do. They use the shower, like I do. They use the sink, like I do. Realizing that there’s other people in this social situation other than just me,

[00:34:04] The affirmative sentence here. You know that to be fair each one of us needs time in the bathroom. We need to share, we need to spend equal or at least allow for equal time for each of us three siblings to use this one bathroom. That’s just kind of being fair.

[00:34:24] And directive here at the end. I will try to take a shorter shower, that’s what I’m going to focus on right now.

[00:34:33] And what I love most about this book from Carol Gray, you know, she has some for pretty early learners. Some of her favorites, I love her about, you know, gift giving. What do I do when I get a gift that I don’t enjoy? Some for, you know, older individuals like showering and things like that. So a lot of great examples even to use, to make your own, again, use these as a template or a draft to create your own story based on something you’re experiencing with either your loved one or the one that you’re supporting.

[00:35:06] A similar concept, but here’s another social story. That’s a bit more specific. This one’s going to have a few more of those directive sentences. Very specific. I’ll let you read through this one. And again, I’m going to hush up and drink my water for at least a minute or two. As you read through this one.

[00:35:44] [silence]

[00:36:04] So where the first story was a bit more general and just kind of introductory. This one is very specific and it shows you that there’s no specific way that you have to write a social story. There are some core components and some things that you should consider, but even the same topic can be written in very different ways based on that individual’s needs.

[00:36:26] So, you know, this one has a lot of control sentences. It has three really specific ways that you can try taking a shorter shower. And again, it’s not a list of 10. It’s a very manageable list of things that this learner can physically do.

[00:36:44] And then some cooperative sentences there, you know, really showing that my parents can really help me out in this. And we can collaborate together, we can cooperate, and see if there are other ideas. And that’s sometimes especially, or my mom, dad, or I may have another idea really brings in the fact that other people can help me with this. It’s not solely on my shoulders to be okay.

[00:37:09] And then the directive sentence, Carol Gray likes to put hers kind of there at the end. I will try to shorten my time in the shower to share the bathroom with others. She typically wants that to be the last thing that the learners are hearing. That really clear direction as to why we have the social story.

[00:37:28] Here linked in your PDFs there are two different, they’re just two-page planning worksheets that are really nice. If you’re wanting to do either a social story on the left or a power card on the right, these are some free principle, kind of skeletons to work through. And these are linked from the Affirm Modules that you guys will have access to at the end. So I wanted to make sure you all had these specifically, if you’re interested in writing your own social stories or power cards.

[00:37:59] I wanted to at least briefly mention comic strip conversations. They don’t have the strongest research base, but the reason I included them, I typically have found them to be effective with older students or students who love to draw or ones who are really into things like video games or comic books. It really helps them understand the perspectives of others. And we know, especially for our learners with autism, that is a core difficulty for them is, is understanding why other people say the things that they do or think the way that they do. So especially if I come across  a situation where a learner is really struggling in social situations, but I know that they love, like I said, comic books or video games, or they are an excellent illustrator, I’ll sometimes offer up comic strip conversations as an option for them.

[00:38:52] And what these are, these are exactly what they sound like. You kind of create your own comic strip. It’s typically after a situation has occurred. But you can also do them before and kind of predict something that may happen.

[00:39:07] But you would identify all right how many seen boxes are we going to have? How much time do we have? Do we need to limit this to maybe two or three boxes? Do we have time to work through maybe 10 boxes of conversation and thoughts? You’re going to kind of draw the scenario, typically that already happened or, you know, one that you expect will happen and you’re gonna add in those speech bubbles. What is each person saying? Or what did they say?

[00:39:36] Also, the adult is going to help include those thought bubbles. What was that person thinking when they said that? Or what did they think after you said something. Again, helping really understand those perspectives. And typically again, this is used after something has kind of gone awry, and we can really break down.

[00:39:57] It’s almost, I think with those social autopsies, as I mentioned earlier, probably does. Really breaking down and seeing what were those components here.

[00:40:06] And the last two bullets, this is typically used in schools and the example that I give is from Kathy Morris, who is a trainer, and she had this presented for a school setting. And so if we’re using comic strip conversations in the school, you know, we would want to make sure that we’re able to, after this situation, we’ve kind of debriefed, gone through it, figured out the ins and outs. How can we, you know, safely and appropriately go back into the classroom and return to whatever situation we may have either left or been removed from and have a nice reentry plan. You know, making sure that you’re going in calm, comfortable, and safely.

[00:40:46] So this one, you get to break out your artistic skills on the PDF. My emojis did not want to transfer. But I wanted to have a nice visual. And if anything sticks in your mind from today, I hope it’s going to be this visual. With social narratives, social stories, power cards, all of those so many times we want to pull them out or create them for those kinds of uncomfortable situations or those difficult situations. And we need to be mindful that we need to have more social stories and narratives for those happy moments. For those things that we enjoy, the places that we enjoy going and have more positive, social narratives, social stories, power cards, then those kinds of negative ones.

[00:41:30] We don’t want these tools to become aversive. We don’t want it to be where, you know, if we go over to that shelf or if we get out the social story or we ask them to read their social story, it becomes almost a trigger. And something that makes us uncomfortable because we’re like, oh gosh, not these again, these are awful. They’re telling me the things that I did wrong or they’re getting me ready for something I don’t want to do.

[00:41:53] We need to make sure that the balance stays heavier on those kind of lighthearted, enjoyable stories that we can read. You know, if we actually get to go out to dinner with our family this week, here’s a social story to get to know, to go over what that’s going to look like. Or, you know, if a loved one is coming in town, which again, all my examples have been thrown out the window with COVID and quarantine life.

[00:42:17] But for those positive things, you know, Friday movie night. A social narrative about what that’s going to look like and what to get ready for. And then every now and then bring in those stories for the uncomfortable or the more unfamiliar situations. Trying to keep that balance.

[00:42:34] And Carol Gray has a really excellent quote and she says that a social story never corrects.

[00:42:41] And sometimes we can fall into that. Where we kind of feel like there’s something that we need to correct or fix, but a social story never corrects, it shares information and teaches.

[00:42:52] I hope you’ve heard me say multiple times today that these are teaching opportunities. These are teaching tools. They are just sharing information, sharing strategies, and teaching our learners how to navigate these social scenarios more independently.

[00:43:09] So some final thoughts to keep in mind, and I’ve hit on most of these throughout our time together today. Social narratives should be used all throughout the day. Don’t just wait until right before or right in the midst of that uncomfortable moment.

[00:43:23] And you’re going to know the learner best. You know, do we need to pull that story out an hour before? 30 minutes before? Is it something that we need to read every day just to be prepared? Multiple times a day?

[00:43:36] Also the learners should be interacting with this narrative in some way. It’s not necessarily something that just needs to be read to them. If they are able, they should be reading the stories themselves. Or as I mentioned earlier with the iPad, is it something that can be narrated with a voiceover that they could hear read to them? There are ways to make interactive books with, you know, having a list of pictures off to the side that you can match and Velcro into the book to get them engaged. Filling in the blanks with any repetitive words. Having that learner interact is going to be key.

[00:44:12] Keeping them short, keeping them accessible. We don’t want these to become cumbersome. And again, they should be individualized, written in first person. The only exception to that rule, you know, typically again, they need to be written from Johnny’s perspective or for Johnny.

[00:44:28] The only time you don’t want to include that first person language is if you’re having to include some sort of undesired or unacceptable behavior. That you want to put in third person. So you’ll say something like sometimes children do this, right. You want to say that it’s children doing that, not Johnny doing that undesired behavior. You want to keep the general vibe of these stories very positive, very patient, very, you know, understanding, even if it’s kind of a quote negative topic.

[00:45:04] All right some resources for you guys. And again, everything on here from here on out, is going to be clickable in your PDFs. You can just click on each image and it will take you directly to that website.

[00:45:16] So these are the top two, the AFIRM and the AIM. These are two excellent free websites that you can go. You have to create an account for each one, but they are free to go and access any of those evidence-based practices. Both of those have modules for social narratives that we talked about today. I pulled a lot from the AIM or AFIRM modules for today, but you can go and spend probably an hour or two diving into each of those modules.

[00:45:47] At the bottom are more just kind of, either articles or informational sites to dive again, a bit deeper into those evidence-based practices, if you are wanting to know more about social narratives or just those best practices in general.

[00:46:06] These are just some of my free, favorite websites. Victories ‘n Autism is one that I showed you that the one, I think it was the Car’s power card came from. They have a ton of free, printable things for you there. And again, if you just click on each of these logos. Do2Learn is a subscription, but they have some free resources on their website. LessonPix is the one that I use to create all of my social stories. it is excellent, it is for me, and I don’t get any sort of kickback or pay from these. So I don’t want this to seem like an advertisement, but LessonPix is just the easiest for me to navigate and create a social story in just a few minutes.

[00:46:47] And then Autism Teaching Strategies. It’s a website by Joel Shaul, he’s a social worker and he has a lot of free, printable strategies for you there.

[00:46:59] This one, oh my goodness. The Center on Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning. If you have not checked out this website, I encourage you to do so. It’s geared more towards early learners, but still a lot of great information here. They have some social stories already made on there to either pull and use, right now, or use as an example. And they have some other training modules as well and resources for families.

[00:47:27] Some information on Carol Gray, herself, you know, the guru of social stories. I encourage you to click for that social story sampler, she has on her website and she doesn’t really give them out for free often. You know, her books are, she typically has them all in her books to purchase. But you can pull up a sampler of lots of different social stories for all kinds of different concepts. And you know, a lot of them around, either tragedies that you’ve experienced. Things that encourage you to be safe. Really understanding about yourself and others and that we’re all unique. So definitely check out some of her samplers there. This is her book that I pulled those two stories from, it has actually been updated I probably need to get a new version. I only have the 10th anniversary edition and the new one has more for young adults and for preschool children. So that’s linked here, just takes you to Amazon. If you’re interested in previewing that book on Amazon.

[00:48:31] This is a great blog post. One of my favorite blogs is called Autism Adventures and she has a really nice, approachable article about how to use social stories effectively. If you just click her logo there, it’ll take you to that blog post.

[00:48:47] These are my favorite places to get free social narratives. That is my favorite four letter word, F R E E.

[00:48:55] Autism Little Learners. If you follow us on Facebook, you have probably seen a share. She has made so many social stories geared towards younger learners, but they’re an excellent idea to get a feel for some topics that you may have a social story or social narrative about.

[00:49:13] The Autism Helper is a great website. If you haven’t been there, she has some blog posts on social stories and she also just released some free COVID stories.

[00:49:24] Teachers Pay Teachers. I go there often, even if you’re not a teacher. You can go, search. I think this link here takes you directly to the free social stories. I always go down and filter by price. Just show me the free ones, I don’t want to pay for anything.

[00:49:41] And then also we created a site, here at the beginning of the pandemic, and really pulled all the different COVID related stories. So understanding why my doctor looks different, why I can’t go to school right now, why I have to wear a mask. Why other people are wearing masks. There are a ton of COVID related stories in particular, on our little site that we created a KATC.

[00:50:05] And that’s all I have. I definitely encourage you guys to stick around. We still have about 10 minutes left of our scheduled time together. If there have been any questions that have come through I’ll have Stella read those or stick around and type some in. Also reach out, you know, we at KATC are a free resource to the state of Kentucky. You know, we’re based here at the University of Louisville, but we provide free trainings or paid trainings to anyone and everyone who wants information about autism.

[00:50:35] Check out our website. KY autism, if you haven’t already done so follow us on Facebook, check out our YouTube, or our Twitter. We are constantly sharing out either local or national resources for parents, caregivers, professionals, teachers anyone and everyone.

[00:50:52] And also I encourage you all to complete the evaluation that will pop up right after you exit out of this session, I believe. Just so you know, we can make sure that these trainings are relevant and how we can tweak them, to make them better in the future.

[00:51:07] And I just want to, again thank Kentucky SPIN for having me. And I’ll all be with you guys again in December for a second executive functioning webinar. But I just thank you all for your partnership and your collaboration and for everyone for attending today.

[00:51:20] So I will stick around for questions, Stella, if there are any that came through, feel free to read those. And anyone else feel free to type those in, if you have any questions.

[00:51:31] Stella: Awesome. Thank you, Sarah. We do have some questions.

[00:51:35] Sarah: Oh great!

[00:51:35] Stella: So let me read the first one. Let’s see. If I don’t make a social story properly, can it have an adverse effect on my child’s learning? Is there a wrong way to make a social story? And what if I mess up?

[00:51:52] Sarah: You know, I think if, as long as you’re trying something, that’s always a good first step. Now I think the only way you could truly mess them up is, or do it the wrong way is like I mentioned, if you make them too bossy or if you make them too aversive. Something that the child is just going to start hating, right. If it’s something that’s just too uncomfortable or too out of their comfort zone.

[00:52:15] You want to make sure that it’s something that the learner is going to be able to do and willing to do. These are teaching tools, not punishment tools. Right. I think that could be the only way I’ve seen them go awry.

[00:52:29] Also people that think you can just read a story, social story once, and that it magically changes everything. Knowing that this is going to be a very slow process. Again, think about learning how to walk. We don’t just go straight from crawling to walking. We need some hand holding. We need some support here.

[00:52:47] I definitely encourage if you are wanting to create your own, look through some of these pre-made ones, and I’m glad that you’re wanting to create one on your own. That’s always what I encourage. So take a look at some of those free ones that I’ve shared. Just get a feel for those and definitely check out, one or two. I like the AFIRM modules better. A F I R M they’re just a bit more visually appealing and engaging. Definitely check those out.

[00:53:14] But I think as long as you’re trying something. And you’ll know, your learner will tell you whether or not they’re working or not pretty quickly, usually. So you’ll know whether you need to adjust or throw it out the window and try something else.

[00:53:29] Stella: I like that. That’s a great answer. Another one is for an older child that can read, could you post a social story somewhere like in the bathroom as a reminder, or will that take away from the overall effect?

[00:53:43] Sarah: I mean, I definitely think it should be somewhere that’s accessible. Right. And it depends on kind of what the topic is. Is it something that they need to read before they go into the bathroom? Is it something that they need to have for, you know, a public restroom? That they have on some sort of phone or tablet that they just becomes part of the routine, to before they go to a restroom to read.

[00:54:04] It would depend on, you know, kind of what the specific situation is, but they can be anywhere. That’s the good thing about social narratives in general. They could look many different ways and it’s going to be specific to what that individual learner is going to need. Hopefully that answered that question. If not ask me another question.

[00:54:25] Stella: Yes, and then one more, one more right now. Let’s see, can you give some specific examples of appropriate, hang on, let me expand it a little bit. Hold on.

[00:54:40] Can you give some specific examples of appropriate prompts or reinforcement?

[00:54:47] Sarah: So some specific prompts, I would definitely want to rely more on visual prompts. So whether it’s part of, you know, a schedule, either like something to remind the learner to read their social story or to get their social story before a specific part of their day. Something a nice little reminder. It could be even like a gesture. You may have some sort of, someone will be like, oh, we’re kind of struggling right now, do we need to get that social story?

[00:55:14] But also reinforcement, that could be something as simple as my favorite is just behavior specific praise. As you see your learners trying things or really even if they kind of mess up in the moment, but they’re doing that verbal think aloud. Like, oh man, I knew I should’ve done this instead. Make a big deal about that. You know, really call out all the great things and the great efforts, you know, every small step counts.

[00:55:40] It doesn’t necessarily have to be things like earning actual reinforcers after reading their social story. You know, that kind of, I think, it takes away the power of the social story itself. But being very specific and intentional with that verbal praise and making it very specific to the things that they’re applying from that social story, that power card. Like, Oh, I can see you asked for five more minutes on your computer. That’s great. I’m going to give you 10 minutes today for using your words, making sure that it’s something that they’re going to be willing to do more in the future.

[00:56:17] Stella: That’s perfect. Perfect. I can’t, let me see, I think that was all of them right now. Yes, that was all. So that was great. We’ll go ahead and, oh wait here’s one more, sorry.

[00:56:33] Sarah: Good, we have a few more minutes.

[00:56:35] Stella: They’re popping in.

[00:56:37] Sarah: These are great questions.

[00:56:39] Stella: Would using social stories with my younger typically developing children be helpful in learning daily routines, avoid tantrums, et cetera.

[00:56:48] Sarah: A hundred percent. Even, I mean, there are times that they can be read, you know, as a family. And that helps, especially if you have one child with disabilities and other either neuro-typical or children without disabilities, to keep your one child from getting kind of singled out. Make it a family affair. Come up with the stories together, you know, as you guys are developing those directive sentences, or those sentences kind of saying what skills to use or what coping strategies to rely on or what replacement behaviors to use. Have those identified by your loved ones or your learners, making sure that they are a part of the process of creating them. Even determining, you know, when should we read this story? How often should we read this story? Making sure that they are active participants in this, for sure.

[00:57:39] And I doubt there’s going to be anyone who would not benefit from a social story. I feel like there are days where I need some myself, especially if I’m going to sit in a two hour zoom meeting that I have later this week. You know, what are some things I need to remind myself to do and not do and? And how to stay engaged? You know, we all need visual reminders. And these just make it a bit more accessible for children, and it’s just another format to provide those prompts and those reminders.

[00:58:10] Stella: Sarah that’s perfect, I love that.

[00:58:13] Well we’re almost at our time and this has been just wonderful, but I will let everyone know we will be sending an email out with the links again.

[00:58:22] And we will have this on our YouTube channel in a couple of days. So if there’s someone that you think, wow, I wish they had heard this you can share that link with them.

[00:58:30] You can go to our webpage www.kyspin.com and you’ll find the links to some other webinars. Also, we do have Tuesday Tips every Tuesday at 11:00 AM. We have some wonderful topics coming up. We have already scheduled them for November and December, so check our website for more information.

[00:58:50] On that, if you would like up-to-date information, on COVID-19 related to education, we have a wonderful page that’s specific just for that.

[00:59:01] We also have an e-news that we send out, usually every other week. And so you’re more than welcome to sign up for that also from our webpage.

[00:59:11] At the end of the webinar, as soon as it’s over, you’ll be prompted to complete our evaluation. We would really appreciate your input on today’s webinar, but also suggestions for future webinars.

[00:59:24] So, Sarah again, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it. It was such good information and we’re looking forward to having you again with the soon.

[00:59:34] Sarah: You’re welcome. I thank you guys at Kentucky SPIN for all the amazing work you’re doing for parents across the state. You guys are wonderful.

[00:59:40] Stella: Thank you. And the same for you all at the Kentucky Autism Training Center. So thanks everyone.

[00:59:47] Sarah: I’ll see you later this week at our collaborative meetings.

[00:59:50] Bye everyone.

[00:59:51] Stella: That’s exactly right! Bye!