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Parents Urged to Use Social Stories

Developmental psychologist Michael J. Weiss gave parents a creative tool for explaining social behavior to kids during a presentation at the library Tuesday morning. It’s called the Social Story , and Weiss said it’s a beneficial way to teach social behavior to children.

“To think [social behavior] is going to create itself magically out of thin air is incorrect,” Weiss said,  addressing a gathering of  25 Wilton parents.

Social Stories, Weiss said, are short tales that explain a behavior a child displays, why it is inappropriate and how the child should act instead. Weiss said parents can buy Social Stories, but he suggested they sit down with their child and create them together instead. The child will understand better that way, he added.

Tuesday’s seminar was co-sponsored by the Wilton Library and SPED*NET Wilton , the Special Education Network of Wilton, as part of their 2010-2011 speaker series. Social Stories were originally developed for children with autism spectrum disorders, but are also used to help adolescent and adults with other social delays. SPED*NET President Eve Kessler said Social Stories have benefited her son helping him overcome behavior problems he had as a young child as he gets set to graduate from high school in the spring.

“It’s not a silver bullet, but it is one thing you can do,” Kessler said.

Weiss urged parents to create Social Stories on many different topics with their children. He said he makes many such stories with the children he works with. He is also working on videos of parents creating Social Stories to use as a teaching tool online.

What do you think of Social Stories? Have you used them? Do they work?  Are you thinking about trying them?

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