Why should I use Book Builder?
Book Builder includes several features that will allow the author to enrich social stories by providing additional supports for understanding. Here are a few ideas:
Book builder includes coaches that provide "just-in-time" supports to enrich a reader's experience. "Just-in-time" supports, as the name implies, allow the reader to click on a coach and get help "just in time."
In this book, the coaches are used to enhance your comprehension and to support understanding of the content. The first coach provides a question to prompt you to think about the content as you read; the second coach provides a hint as to how to answer the question; the third coach provides a model of how to answer the question. Each coach cue becomes more extensive. If you need help with the question, go to Hali for a hint. If you still feel uncertain, go to Monty for a model answer. As an author, you can do this for your students.
A social story is a story that helps teach social skills to people who have difficulty understanding the emotions, behavior and thoughts of others.
They are often short stories that explain social situations that individuals find confusing or challenging. To do this, they use explicit teaching techniques. These techniques help to focus attention on key features such as social cues and simplify and scaffold understanding by eliminating extraneous information. In doing so, a social story helps to provide both insight into the reasoning behind a social situation as well as to outline methodical strategies or ways to respond appropriately.
Why do some people have difficulty developing social skills?
Notice at the bottom of the page, the book builder coaches are here. They have been scripted to help you with your understanding of the content. Click on Pedro to get a question for you to think about. Go to the other coaches if you need help answering the question. Hali provides a hint and then Monty provides a model response.
For most people, social skills are clues that help them to make predictions about another person's emotion, thoughts and behavior. Making accurate predictions about others helps socially-skilled people determine appropriate responses in social situations. For example, it is easy for most of us to see that the girls in the picture on the left are happy, whereas the same girls in the picture on the right are angry. The ability to read social cues is part of a larger set of skills called social skills.
The ability to read social cues relies on significant social knowledge that develops through socialization,which begins at birth. However, as in other skill areas, people differ in their ability to read social cues.
Some people do not learn these skills readily, despite being immersed in socially-rich environments. It is not known why this occurs, but it is suspected to be the result of a neurological or other organic barrier to learning. Other children, who are raised in environments of extreme social deprivation, lack the social experiences that are necessary to help them learn these skills because of environmental barriers to learning.
If a person has difficulty understanding and responding appropriately in social situations, these skills need to be explicitly taught. Explicit teaching of social skills is often the goal of a social story.
Some students don't seem to be listening to their peers when the peers are clearly annoyed. Rather than assuming they are not listening, consider the possibility that they don't recognize the meaning of an angry face or gesture. A social story can support developing recognition skills. Social stories provides a realistic context through which to explicitly teach these skills.
Many children lack the ability to imagine or predict what might happen in a given situation. This may be due to a lack of exposure to many experiences or simply the lack of experience with imaginative play. Either can result in limited background knowledge or the inability to see similarities to other 'safe' situations, thus preventing them from generalizing the experience. This inability to predict leads to anxiety and sometimes to unacceptable behavior as a result of fear.
Social stories can be authored to help a child predict what will happen by providing them with background knowledge. Book Builder can be used to customize social stories that fit individual situations that are causing anxiety or for situations that commonly cause anxiety in children.
Things to remember when writing social stories:
As mentioned earlier, social stories are written with a specific structure and format that was first developed by Carol Gray in 1991. Carol Gray is the director of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Gray Center's Social Stories™ 10.0 include ten New Defining Criteria & Guidelines. Those guidelines were used in the development of the model book Jake Likes to Play Games.