The Social Norms for Autism app was created by a certified speech and language pathologist for children with autism spectrum disorder. This app helps children learn social rules and behaviors through stories. The Social Norms app is ideal for parents, educators, and speech language pathologists as it allows full customization. The users have the ability to add their own photos, text, and audio recordings to create individualized stories that teach specific skills that the child with autism spectrum disorder may have difficulty learning or understanding.

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The Social Norms app includes over 50 stories with clear graphics in the following categories:

  • 11 Manners Stories: Saying Thank You, Excuse Me, I Am Sorry, Saying Hi , Using the Inside Voice, Sharing with Friends, Asking for Help, Waiting for My Turn to Talk, Personal Space , Picking the Nose, Passing Gas
  • 15 Hygiene and Health Stories: Washing Hands, Brushing Teeth, Washing Hair, Brushing Hair, Taking a Bath, Showering, Getting Dressed, Trimming the Nails, Using Hand Lotion, Putting Sunscreen, Using the Toilet, Headache, Stomachache, Runny Nose, Eating Healthy
  • Three Safety Stories: Crossing the Street, Bike Safety, Seat Belts
  • Six Home Stories: Going to Bed, Cleaning Up Toys, Doing Homework, Helping Mom and Dad, Staying in the Chair During Mealtime
  • Eight School Stories: Asking Someone to Play with Me, Waiting in the Hall, Answering in the Classroom, Being Bullied, Being Teased, Recess, Fire Drill, Following Directions in the Classroom
  • Five Community Stories: Going to the Dentist, Going to the Doctor, Going to the Hairdresser, Going to the Restaurant, Going Shopping
  • Five Behavior Stories: Biting Others, Pushing Others, Pulling Others’ Hair, Hitting the Head on the Wall, Running Away

Although research is still needed in the area of teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorders through stories, a number of studies have concluded that using stories to teach particular social behaviors or skills are in fact successful and children may benefit from this type of intervention.


Furthermore, evidence indicates that incorporating visual aids (e.g., visual activity schedules) has positive findings, suggesting that visual aids can be effective for teaching social skills and interactions (Reichow & Volkmar, 2010, p 161).


The National Standards Project (National Autism Center, 2010) also supports teaching social skills through stories as an established treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder for children ages six to 14, with evidence-based findings.

References:

Reichow, B., & Volkmar, F. R. (2010). Social skills interventions for individuals with autism: Evaluation for evidence-based practices with a best evidence synthesis framework. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40, 149-166.

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