A social story for Independence Day
Helping children with sensory challenges cope with future events
By: Karla Hartlep, MS, LCMFT, Assistant Director of Heartspring Pediatric Services Department
Independence Day is rapidly approaching, and as many caregivers are aware, children with sensory challenges can experience upset as a result of fireworks.
But here is the good news: social stories can be used to set your child up for success! They are a useful tool in assisting individuals impacted by sensory impairments to cope with future events, especially those that may result in an emotional reaction.
Here are some tips and tricks for creating your own social story for the upcoming festivities:
- Anyone can write a social story - all that is required is a topic, an introduction, a body, and a conclusion describing a situation or event that the child should expect.
- Remember, simple is best, and sentences should be clear and limited to one idea. For example, instead of, "It is hot outside, and you will be uncomfortable without your shoes, so please put your shoes on," replace with: "It is hot outside. Kids need to be safe. Put your shoes on."
- Write your thought, then simplify.
- The more, the better! Consistent use of social stories helps provide more predictability for your child.
Please enjoy this special social story for the 4th of July - feel free to download it, use it with your kids, or save it as an example for your future works. Happy Independence Day!
Reference: Gray, C. (2015). The New Social Story Book Rev. and exp. 15th-anniversary ed. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons