*Encouragement is the best medicine to give someone. If I were to pick any gift to have in helping others, that would be the one*

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The New Social Story Book Review

Price: $34.95
Written by Carol Gray.  A revised and expanded 10th anniversary edition. Forward by Tony Attwood, Ph.D.

I love this book.  You know why?  I'm a mom to six that is always busy. What mom isn't?  The way this book is laid out, I can easily flip back and forth or just go straight to a page I need at that moment.

I absolutely LOVE colorful books that grab your attention.  I've always been one of those people that need to see a picture to put with the words.  Like in a restaurant?  I order the meal that shows a picture.  This book is easy to read, simple to find what you need, and offers many picture illustrations.  Best of all, it's to the point in whatever social story you flip to and easy for a child to understand.. 

This book is great for parents and I bet it's valuable to teachers in a classroom.  I am donating this book to my son's school because this is THE PERFECT BOOK for explaining social stories to a child.  Not only that but it comes with a CD so you can print them out and personalize them.  Nice!

How awesome would it be if all my readers bought this book and donated it to their school?  What a gift this would be.  Why?  The prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders among first graders enrolled in school is likely closer to 1 in 67, not the 1 in 150 as previously estimated.  Many teachers are not even equipped with the necessary tools to help our kids.  If any of your kids have went through what Chaz has gone through, you'll understand the value in having an informed teacher that is willing to work with your child and you.  If you have a teacher willing to use this book for your child and many others, you are giving a wonderful gift.  

What's a social story?
  • it's a simple method that may be used at home, at school, or in the community to teach or maintain social skills, daily living skills, or behavior management skills of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • Addresses specific situations by teaching the student appropriate behaviors and response.
Some examples in the book that have been helpful for my son.  There are many but I'll list a few and why: 

      1.  Mistakes Can Happen on a Good Day (Story #16)

Chaz gets really down on himself and discouraged when he makes a mistake.  Sometimes he panics.  This section explains that even on a good day mistakes can happen.  He says often, "This is the worst day of my life!"

The book explains "As people grow, they learn about mistakes.  They learn that making a mistake is okay.  A mistake is a mistake, and it's still a good day."  The social story explains more...

       2. How to Open a Gift (Story #45)

Ohhh, this is huge to us.  So many times Chaz would open a gift and just speak his mind.  Most of the time he's excited but there are times when he gets something he doesn't like and he tells them right away.  "Why did you get me this?  I don't like this.  Why would I need this?"  At that moment, if we are at a family member's house, I want to crawl under something. Many times we've had to explain how to just say thank you.

the book explains "Sometimes people give me gifts.  I am learning what to think, say, and do when I get a gift.  It takes time and sometimes money to find and wrap a gift.  For this reason, it's thoughtful to say "thank you" right when I get a gift (even before I open it).  This means, Thank you for thinking of me, and for getting this gift ready to give to me.  It may be okay to open a gift right away. Or, it may be important to wait until later to open a gift.  After I open a gift, it's important to say "thank you."  I am learning what to think, say, and do when I get a gift.  When I get a gift, I will try to practice!

    3. The Truth about Messes (Story #102)

 Okay, well, this is huge for us.  Chaz can't understand why we can't keep the house clean 24/7.  In fact, I even gave Chaz his own room to keep clean.  Just like I thought, he has everything in perfect order.  I know how important it is to Chaz to keep things in order but he doesn't understand how hard that can be when you have a large family.  

The book explains "My family lives in a home. We eat, take baths, sleep, get dressed, play, and work there.  Sometimes, we make a mess."  It goes on to explain how day to day living requires clean up in everything we do.  After we eat, shower, play, etc.  

There are many other social stories.  150 to be exact!!!  150 social stories that teach everyday social skills to children with Autism or Asperger's Syndrome, and their peers.  The bonus to all this is that you get a free CD of printable, editable social stories!  You can customize story content and insert images relevant to your child or student's individual experiences.  Wow!  This book is great for not only parents but teachers also.  

More Examples:
  • It Was Fun but Now We're Done
  • When It Is My Turn to Listen
  • Saying What I Think with Respect
  • Learning to Respond to Bullying (Oooh, that one is huge)
  • Telling My Teacher about a Problem
  • Fire Drills at School
  • Moving to a New Home
  • Children Grow Kind of Slow
  • This Place is Busy

About the Author: Carol Gray
 has over twenty years of experience educating students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Carol initiated the use of Social Stories in 1991 and has written numerous articles, chapters, and books on the subject. She is a sought-after speaker in the United States and abroad. Carol is the director of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding, a non-profit organization that serves people with ASD, and currently works privatel
y with students, parents, and professionals in a variety of educational and vocational settings.

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