Thursday, August 29, 2013

Positively Autism August Newsletter

This month, we'll finish our series of articles and posts on Social narratives, also known as Social Stories. Social narratives are a great strategy to explain social situations and expectations to students with autism. They can be easily written and customized to each individual child, making social narratives a flexible strategies for both parents and teachers. Read on to learn more about this great tool!

Articles and Tips
Intro to Social Narratives
Technology and Social Narratives
Social Narratives as an Evidence-Based Practice
The Importance of Social Narratives that Praise Accomplishments
The Social Compass Curriculum: A Story-Based Intervention Package

Sample Social Narratives from Positively Autism
"Other People Can Be First"
"Saying Hello to People"
"When Mom is on the Phone"
More free social skill stories and activities here:

New Free Downloads from Positively Autism
Color and Number Flashcards
"Share the Road" Folder/Shoebox Games for Turn-Taking and Sharing

Books on Social Narratives
The Social Skills Picture Book: Teaching Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism
My Social Stories Book

Other News
August Positive Autism News
New Book! No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

August Positive Autism News

Alongside Monet, Amazon Features Artists With Special Needs
August 8, 2013

New Thrift Store Employs Those with Autism (Raleigh, NC)
August 19, 2013

New Clues To Why Some Autistic Kids Are So Good At Math
August 22, 2013

Blindness, Autism Can’t Stop Teen from Pursuing Love of Music
August 23, 2013

Life with Autism: A Japanese Schoolboy Opens the Door
Naoki Higashida Was 13 When He Finished His Book on What It's Like to Live with Autism
August 23, 2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

My Social Stories Book

Book Description (From the Publisher):

Carol Gray's social stories have been used all over the world to teach social and life skills to children on the autism spectrum. Taking the form of short narratives, the stories in My Social Stories Book take children step-by-step through basic activities such as brushing your teeth, taking a bath and wearing a safety belt in the car. These stories are written for preschoolers aged 2-6 and form a useful primer for non-autistic as well as autistic children.

My Social Stories Book contains almost 200 stories, arranged in sets, and is illustrated throughout with line drawings by Sean McAndrew.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Social Skills Picture Book Teaching: Play, Emotion, and Communication to Children with Autism

Book Description (From the Publisher):

Winner of an iParenting Media Award, this book uses photographs of students engaging in a variety of real-life social situations. The realistic format plays to the visual strengths of children with ASD to teach appropriate social behaviors. Color photographs illustrate the "right way" and "wrong way" to approach each situation and the positive/negative consequences of each. A facilitator (parent, teacher, etc.) is initially needed to explain each situation, and ask questions such as "What is happening in this picture?" Children role-play skills until confident enough to practice them in real-life interactions.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

No More Victims: Protecting those with Autism from Cyber Bullying, Internet Predators, and Scams

Description from the publisher:

The digital world offers a wonderful way to communicate and socialize with others. Yet, it is also rife with the dangers of being victimized emotionally, physically, and financially.

Trusting individuals with autism spectrum disorders, who are oftentimes socially isolated, are especially vulnerable to online predators. Finally, we have a resource to help prepare them for the minefields they may encounter on the Internet.
In this much-needed book, Dr. Baker presents three main areas of concern for our kids:
  • Cyber bullying
  • Online sexual predators
  • Internet scams
Through Dr. Baker’s invaluable advice, kids will learn what to look out for, whom to avoid, and how to protect themselves when they’re communicating online.

Ways to Buy:

Regular retail price is $14.95.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Social Compass Curriculum: A Story-Based Intervention Package

What's an easy and fun way to meet social skills goals for students with autism?

Find out in this Q&A with the authors of The Social Compass Curriculum: A Story-Based Intervention Package for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

BONUS: See a full sample lesson on Accepting Changes in Routines in this free download from Module 3 on Social Problem Solving.

When you buy The Social Compass Curriculum from, Amazon will make a donation to Positively Autism!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Importance of Social Narratives that Praise Accomplishments

Carol Gray, the creator of Social Stories™, recommends that at least half of the social narratives that we write for any student should have the sole purpose of recognizing skills that the student already does well or positive personality or character traits.

Positively Autism believes that this is important for a variety of reasons. First, it helps make reading a social narrative a positive experience for the student. When social narratives are written to praise or recognize a child, they may be more likely to enjoy reading all social narratives. Social narratives should always be a positive, or at least neutral, experience. They should never be used as a punishment (as in, "Your behavior is unacceptable! Go read your social story.").

Additionally, when we recognize the positive traits or skills that a student has, we may encourage the student to continue positive behavior in the future. And, of course, we want to focus on students’ strengths as much as we can, since there may often be a focus on their weaknesses.

Here is an example of a social narrative praising accomplishments that I wrote. Pictures of the child have been removed for confidentiality purposes. .

Carol Gray also has examples of social narratives that praise accomplishments near the middle of this page:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Social Narratives as an Evidence-Based Practice

This is another re-post from last month’s newsletter, but I wanted to make sure to share the information if you’re a new subscriber.

According to the National Autism Center’s National Standards Report (2009), the “Story-based Intervention Package” (another name for social narratives or Social Stories) is considered an “Established” intervention method for children with autism age six to fourteen years. Of course, this doesn’t mean that social narratives aren’t effective with other ages, it just means that most of the research has been with children age six to fourteen. The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders lists social narratives as and evidence-based practice and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment states that, while more experimental research needs to be done, evidence does exist for the effectiveness of social narratives.

I hope this amount of research support gives you confidence in trying social narratives with your children or students. Of course, you’ll want to track progress on the goals that you use social narratives to address in order to make sure it is effective for each particular individual.


Association for Science in Autism Treatment: Social Stories -

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders: Social Narratives -

The National Autism Center's National Standards Report (2009) -

Monday, August 5, 2013

Technology and Social Narratives

Social narratives don’t have to be read to a student from a printed page. With increases in technology, multimedia social stories are becoming more popular. Since many individuals with autism are interested in technology, such as computers and tablets, these may be great ways to show a social story to a student with autism. I’ve read social narratives to my students from laptop computers, tablet computers, and even my smartphone. They almost always seem to be very attentive to stories presented to them in one of these ways. All of Positively Autism’s social stories are either in PowerPoint or PDF format and can be shown to a student on a portable electronic device.

Researchers have also begun to investigate the use of multimedia social stories. Here are a few studies:

Ozdemir, S., Universitesi, G., Fakultesi, G. E., Bolumu, O. E. (2008). Using multimedia social stories to increase appropriate social engagement in young children with autism. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 7, Issue 3.

Sansosti, F. J. & Powell-Smith, K. A. (2008). Using computer-presented social stories and video models to increase the social communication skills of children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, Volume 10, Issue 3.

Smith Myles, B. & Hagiwara, T. (1999). A multimedia social story intervention: Teaching skills to children with autism. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, Volume 14, Issue 2.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Intro to Social Narratives

We published this information last month, but in case you’re new to Positively Autism, here’s our introduction to social narratives.

Social Narratives, also called Social Stories(TM) or a story-based intervention, are written descriptions of specific situations, and may feature pictures to accompany the written story. The goal of a social narrative is to provide social information in a manner that is easily understood, patient, and reassuring.

While social narratives are often used to improve behavior in situations that are difficult for a person with autism, the focus of a social narrative is not to change behavior. It is hoped that, through an individual’s increased understanding of expectations, that behavior will improve.

This month, Positively Autism will continue to feature information and examples of social narratives that you can use with your children, students, or clients.


What Are Social Stories™? -

The National Autism Center's National Standards Report (2009) -