It is nerve wracking to see your child leave the security of his home-based behavior program and go to school, especially if the school won't use your child's home therapist as an aide. You need daily feedback from the teacher. However, a handwritten note typically doesn't give you the information you crave. Make sure you devise a school summary that gives you the information you want AND is easy for the teacher to complete at the end of every day. Here's the one we used for both preschool and Kindergarten. You can revise it to get the information that is critical to you!
School Feedback form
Before there were fancy computer programs to generate fancy social stories, there were moms like me who used colored typing paper, markers, and stick figures to create social stories. My team and I created about 20 of them. Check out these two:
Talking to My Friends
Playing Board Games with Others
Other titles from our collection included the following: Talking at the Kitchen Table, Riding in the Car, Going to School, Listening to My Friends, Sitting on my Carpet Square at School, Playing Baseball with my Team, and Using My Normal Voice.
We used these guidelines to create our social stories:
*Write 1-2 sentences per page
*Include photos or drawings on each page
*Write in the first person ("I...")
*If you are trying to stop a negative behavior, write in a replacement behavior, if applicable
*Include sentences that refer to how the child should feel when he does the "proper" thing ("I am proud..." or "I feel happy when...")
We would read these stories to Lucas throughout his day. At first, we weren't sure he was listening, as he didn't act interested. But, after a week or two, he started to pay attention; then, he started to become excited at the opportunity to read his books. During some playdates, he actually used some of the phrases that were in the "dialogue bubbles" in his social stories!
Social stories alone do not teach social skills to children. But, it can be a great way to support your child's social skills instruction and to reinforce his or her social behavior! And, you don't need a computer to make them--typing paper, markers, and stick figures will suffice!
How about writing a weekly newsletter for your therapy team? Share data for each program, describe program additions, deletions, and modifications, print preschool aide school notes, and highlight therapist achievements! Check out this issue of "Lucas News" originally published on 5/14/2001: