My friend lives in a world by himself.
Sometimes, he lets me join him.
Sometimes, he doesn’t.

My friend is like the sun.
Sometimes, he shines.
Sometimes, he disappears to a place I can’t see.

My friend is like a puppy dog.
Sometimes, he listens to what I say.
Sometimes, he just doesn’t understand.

My friend is like Abraham Lincoln.
Sometimes, people are amazed by his honesty.
Sometimes, they are angered by it.

My friend is like an Encyclopedia.
Sometimes, all his knowledge is very impressive.
Sometimes, I get bored and want to put him aside.

My friend lives in a world by himself.
Sometimes, I invite him to join my world.
Sometimes, he joins for awhile.

Social Stories™

Related to Social Thinking®, perhaps at the forefront of it, a therapy was developed that provided perspective and rationale for social behavior. It actually armed people with social thinking knowledge. Carol Gray is the originator of this important and effective therapy - Social Stories™. There are several pieces of advice that Ms. Gray gives in her instructions on how to write and use Social Stories™, and they are important. Some of these tips include:

  1. They should guide a person, by providing social understanding, to appropriate choices in a safe and secure way.
  2. They should be positive in nature, with minimal use of words such as NO, NOT, DON’T.
  3. They should provide perspective, so that points of views of other people are provided.
  4. They must be factually accurate, so wording such as “I will try to,” “usually….,” “sometimes…,” etc., is often used.
  5. They must be read consistently to/with child.
  6. At least 50% of a person's Social Stories™ should reinforce a positive feeling or already acquired skill.
  7. Check with the person to make sure what you say about his/her thoughts and feelings is absolutely correct.

I have included my attempts at writing these stories, trying to model them with Carol Gray's guidelines.

  1. Work Stations
    Written for elementary age student who was refusing to go to learning centers (called Work Stations) set up by teacher.

  2. The O.W.L. Strategy
    Written for late elementary age student who spoke to parents about people in front of them, often unintentionally saying embarrassing things. This will need some picture support.

  3. PE Class
    Written for an elementary student who was refusing to participate in PE class. It needs picture support.

  4. Making the Behavior Choice
    Using the book “The Way to A” (see book section), this story was written for a student who would have either terrible or good days, depending how his morning started.

All these stories were written to address issues. Social Stories™ can also be written for anticipated events, such as field trips and other new and unexpected activities. They can help kids with their behavior during outings and with the anxiety they may feel about doing something new and different. In her new publication The New Social Story Book (see My Favorite Publications), Carol Gray suggests and provides examples for Social Stories™ that describe emotions in a way that allows children to understand them better. Additionally, she recommends that they be used as positive reinforcement, applauding children for skills they have acquired.

Carol Gray also developed a method of talking about behavior and past events that have happened through a program called “Comic Strip Conversations.” If you can draw stick figures, you can do this! With the child’s help, you draw a picture of a scenario, including what happened before, what happened after, thoughts that people had, perhaps a different scenarios that might have happened if a response had been different. It’s a very visual and concrete way of looking at events, with the hopes that maybe behavior can change in the future if kids are given the knowledge of what they should do and why.