Monday 17 September 2012

App-ropriate Social Stories

There are numerous social skill intervention programs around to help foster the development of social behaviour, encourage friendships and build confidence. But how many of them are effective for our children with SEN?

Most are designed to be all light and fluffy, fun and stimulating. But are children able to transfer the skills learnt in a discussion, play or story about a teddy bear and his friends, into real life situations? Do these sessions actually fulfill the requirement? In my article Literally Relevant Literacy I highlighted the importance of creating engaging literacy activities, featuring the children themselves. Utilising their experiences, memories and schema to encourage greater engagement with the task, in turn providing more labels if you like, under which to store their new information.

The same can be said for developing social skills. Surely 'Sammy' is more likely to engage with a story about him and his friends, in his school or his house, playing with toys they recognise and use regularly. I would suggest that this method would make it more likely that 'Sammy' will associate the story with his own life and transfer the knowledge into real life.

I've discovered another wonderful ipad app that makes it unbelievably easy to do just that! Book Creator is available for download at just £2.99 from the itunes store. It's easy to use interface allows you to use your own photos and words to create the story you want. You can even add music or a voice over. Use photos of everyday situations or encourage the children to think about the story beforehand by asking them to act out the scenes. Click here to visit the itunes store.

Today's technology is putting relevant material literally, at your finger tips.


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