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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

'social stories'

(20 Posts)
claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 10:12:59

I have read quite a bit of advice being given about 'social stories', could someone please explain to me what these are? [dumb smiley]

troutpout Fri 06-Feb-09 12:31:02

some info and examples here

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 12:50:43

Thanks Troutpout i often wonder what im suppose to do, ignore, discourage etc. thats really helpful.

amber32002 Fri 06-Feb-09 13:24:00

Or a child may prefer the ones with pictures, if their brain works with pictures as its first language. There are also books of social stories available from the NAS or other bookshops.

With us, it's like programming a computer. You have to explain each step, each item, each possibility, using clear language so we know the rules of what to say and do or what not to!

Davros Fri 06-Feb-09 13:53:09

Carol Gray (sp?) is the guru if you want books and I think she also runs seminars.

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 14:47:30

Amber - You seem to have a knowledge, do you mind if i ask how you have experience?

Also can i pick your brain! how are parents suppose to handle situations ie hands over eyes, ears, hiding in wardrobes is another favourite? Do we ignore, distract, comfort, discourage etc?

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 14:53:00

huh!! a knowledge, i meant a lot of knowledge

Ive been reading some of your posts, (thats where i read about the social stories) you seem to have a real understanding.

amber32002 Fri 06-Feb-09 15:00:41

Claw, not sure I understand your first question? As someone with an ASD, and who works elsewhere as an adviser on autism/ASD explaining what it's like to be me, I have access to a lot of the materials and/or adapt my own as I need them. I'm not an adviser for individual situations, though, so here I'm just a person giving answers like everyone else.

Picking my brain sounds rather painful shock but my thoughts on your second question would be to assess what just happened. Knowing enough about us is the first thing. What do we find difficult? What are the triggers for that child? If we're not coping, best thing is to minimise everything possible. Lighting, sound, interaction. A safe corner to be in, something to wrap round ourselve if possible as it cancels out the 'panic' signal from the amygdala. A quiet time to unwind afterwards. Easy in theory, difficult in practice if it's in the middle of a supermarket or party etc.

I wouldn't try to discourage. Divert gradually over time, teach us ways to help ourselves. But discouraging us from panicking or not coping with the pain isn't possible. It's like you putting your hand on a burning hot radiator and someone discouraging you from screaming or moving to protect yourself. For us, that the level of 'pain' from sensory overload sometimes.

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 15:18:42

Amber - From some of the posts i have read, for example how it feels from a child's point of view to have sensory issues, you seem to have a real understanding etc. I was just wondering if you worked in that field, did a lot of reading or just years of experience. Sorry if it sounded a bit offish, really wasnt intended that way

Thanks for that Amber, all the 'specialist' seem to be offer my ds help and sometimes i think to myself what am i suppose to do, no one is advising me!! (other than Mners of course)

amber32002 Fri 06-Feb-09 15:31:50

I've been a child with an ASD smile but my understanding is only from my perspective. There are others here with an ASD who offer a slightly different perspective because their brains will be wired up to slightly different things. Some will be very verbal, others very musical, others very mathematical, etc. And the wiring to which bits of the sensory system overload/underload varies too. It's why it's difficult for me to ever be a formal adviser to individuals - not only do I lack enough theory of mind to know exactly what they need to know, but there's a danger that I'd answer for just me rather than being able to think differently for a different situation. It's why people need to take a range of opinions I think.

Having said that, some specialist advice has been very shock even with the training they have, so I think there is a usefulness to asking those who experience this stuff first-hand.

It's like an autism charity I'm helping at the moment who organised a conference for how to help those with an ASD, and completely failed to realise that the venue, instructions, methods and everything else were entirely non-asd-compatible. Understanding something in theory, and applying it in practice, are often two different things. They couldn't hear the deafening machinery noise, they didn't hear the echoey building, they didn't realise the teacups were too unstable for many of us, they wouldn't have known about the sensory overload from socialising beforehand/eye contact etc. There was no safe space to escape to, no-one had checked the lights for flickering. And this was a room full of experts on the subject shock

At least they've been really great about saying "oops" and adjusting it for the next one grin

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 16:00:36

I didnt realise, i just assumed you had a child with an ASD and perhaps worked in the field or had studied.

LOL that sounds about right for the experts, i bet their faces were blush

amber32002 Fri 06-Feb-09 16:11:30

I've been a Trustee of an autism charity, I've worked for years alongside those with ASDs of all kinds, my dh is ASD, I'm part of national and international 'think tanks' on parts of the subject, and I am an Adviser elsewhere on how it is to have an ASD, but I'm still not any sort of Professional/'Expert with a capital E' in it. smile Depends what people want. If it's a certificate or formal report, they'd have to go ask an Expert.

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 16:17:48

Its your experience and knowledge that educate the Experts, so invaluable i should imagine.

You make a lot more sense and give better advice than most, if not all of the Experts i have come across so far.

amber32002 Fri 06-Feb-09 16:22:42

blush That's very kind, but I'd disagree - there's plenty of people here whose advice is better than mine. I think I just tend to write too much (hardly said a word for 22 years, now they can't shut me up grin )

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 16:33:20

Yep i would agree with that, lots of people here, its been a real life line for me. Not many people understand my ds (including my dh and family) here its like everyone instantly understands where im coming from.

Not too many with first hand experience though i should imagine, you have a true insight. Credit where it is due

streakybacon Fri 06-Feb-09 18:25:30

NAS Help 2 programme do a very good seminar on Social Stories. Their way is based on Carol Gray's method but much simplier. I have the notes if you want a copy.

HelensMelons Fri 06-Feb-09 18:57:27


This book might be of use:

The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching play, emotion and communication to children with Autism.

by J Baker (2001) published by Future Horizons (USA)

claw3 Fri 06-Feb-09 21:17:08

Streaky - aww thank you very much i would love a copy. You can message me on here now, i paid a fiver the other day, havent got a clue how it works though, still fairly new to this

I wont be on over the weekend, but will check back on Monday, thanks again.

Thank you Helensmelons i will have a look on Amazon

Tclanger Sat 07-Feb-09 14:41:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

streakybacon Sun 08-Feb-09 09:33:44

Claw, apparently you're set not to receive messages, so you might want to look into that. Email me at and we'll take it from there.

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