Thursday, May 03, 2018

Free Social Stories About Asking for Help

A collection of free social stories about asking for help including some free printable social stories for kids.

Many kids need help with how to ask for help and when to ask for help. Sometimes they need help knowing what to say, which is where this free social script comes in handy. Other times, they need to be shown the rules for a classroom, such as raising your hand when you need to ask for help.

This collection of social stories about asking for help are entirely free and should be helpful for a variety of settings from home to school. So whether you want to go the video route or the written printable route, you are sure to find something on this list that will be helpful for your child.

I hope you find these asking for help social stories helpful!

Free asking for help social stories for kids

Free Printable Asking for Help Social Stories

While I love my free printable social script mini book about asking for help, they don't use pictures. They just give kids the words to express themselves when they need help. So they're a bit different than using a social story. Here are a few free printable asking for help social stories to check out that include written words and pictures to support the text. You will need a Teachers Pay Teachers account, which is free, in order to download one of these stories.

1. Free Asking for Help Social Story from Sandbox Academy

2. Free One-Page Asking for Help from the Teacher Social Story from Ashley Olson on Teachers Pay Teachers

3. Free One-Page Social Story About Asking for Help from Autism Educators

Video Social Stories About Asking for Help

These video social stories about asking for help are helpful and outline the different steps required for asking for help.

Other Social Story Resources You'll Love

Free asking for help social stories for kids
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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Free Social Stories About Personal Space

A collection of free social stories about personal space including some free printable social stories for kids.

Do your kids struggle with personal space?

Yeah, mine too...

Social stories are one way that we have been working on this particular skill with my son. We also use our space invaders social skills pack to help.

The collection of personal space social stories found below is so helpful for teaching kids about how close is too close when interacting with others. They cover why personal space is important and how much space to leave between yourself and others.

Free printable & video social stories about personal space

Free Printable Social Stories About Personal Space

Have you been looking for a social story about personal space? Then look no further than these free printable social skills stories about personal space. Some require you to have a Teachers Pay Teachers account (which is free!) before you can download them.

1. Free "My Space Bubble" Social Story About Personal Space from San Francisco Inclusion Networks on Teachers Pay Teachers

2. Free Personal Space Social Story from Broad Horizons on Teachers Pay Teachers

3. What is Personal Space? A Free Social Story on Personal Space from Living Well with Autism

4. Free Personal Space Social Story from Mrs. Pretzel Teaches Primary on Teachers Pay Teachers

5. Free Personal Space Social Story from LessonPix - Head up though, the free sample is watermarked.

6. Keeping my Hands, Feet, & Body to Myself (Free Social Story) from Kylie the Creative Social Worker on Teachers Pay Teachers

7. When I Keep My Hands to Myself: A Free Social Story from Care, Create, Teach on Teachers Pay Teachers

Video Social Stories About Personal Space

Here are two helpful video social stories about personal space.

Other Social Story Resources You'll Love

Free printable & video social stories about personal space
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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

How to Help Kids with Transitions

Looking for transition strategies? Here you will find 5 ways for how to help an autistic child with transitions.

Transitions have always been hard for my oldest son. Even at age 8, he finds it hard to pause what he is doing if we need to be heading out the door. He hyperfocuses on whatever interests him, which is why it can be quite difficult for him to transition to something different, especially when the next activity isn't as enjoyable.

Like many autistic kids, though, he has needed help finding transitional strategies that work.

Thankfully, over the years, we have discovered quite a few strategies that help him make transitions between activities. Strategies that we have in place, both at home and at school, that help him successfully most of the time. I say most of the time, because honestly, we all struggle with transitions at some point even as adults, right? Besides, he is still young and learning strategies to help him cope with transitions, so I don't expect him to be good at it all the time yet.

How to help children with transitions

Transition Strategies for Autism

Switching tasks is hard for lots of children, especially if the activity they're currently engaged in is enjoyable. Kids with autism or ADHD, in particular, can really struggle with transitions. You likely already know if your child struggles with transitions if you are here reading this. You've likely wondered the following:

  • Why does my child have difficulty with transitions?
  • How do I help a kid who has a tough time with transitions?
  • How can I help my child make transitions between activities?
  • Why are transitions hard for my child?
Maybe your child has a hard time switching tasks and communicates so by:

  • Crying
  • Screaming
  • Refusing to move to the new activity
  • Getting aggressive
  • Unable to pause or finish the current activity
  • Having a meltdown
Maybe your child struggles with transitions in the classroom and not just at home.

Do you feel lost and unsure of how to help your child?

Well, don't worry, there are lots of ways you can help ease the transition between activities. I share 5 simple ways to help kids switch from one task to another.

How to help children with transitions
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Monday, April 16, 2018

Free Social Stories About Friendship

A collection of free social stories about friendship include free printable social stories for kids about how to be a good friend.

There is a huge list of social skills to tackle when it comes to raising children and many kids struggle with certain social skills like sharing or being a good sport, for instance.

Another area that many kids may have difficulty with is friendship.

There are so many aspects to consider when it comes to friendship from how to talk to friends, how to play with friends, how to make new friends, and how to be a good friend. There are even more topics as children grow up, such as peer pressure, for instance, that they may need guidance with too. So when it comes to teaching kids about friendship, there are so many factors to consider.

Social stories are a great tool for teaching social skills to kids, especially autistic children. You can simply use a social story to teach each of the different friendship skills your child may need to be a good a friend. Below you will find free social stories about friends, including free printable social stories for kids and social skills videos.

Free social stories about friends

Free Printable Social Stories About Friends

Whether you are looking for a playing with friends social story or being a good friend social story, these free printable social stories about friends are a great starting point! Some of these are pretty simplified and others required a free Teachers Pay Teachers account in order to download, but I hope you will still find them helpful.

1. Free Being a Good Friend Story from All Things Special Ed on Teachers Pay Teachers

2. Free Making Friends Social Story by Teacher Gomez on Teachers Pay Teachers

3. Free I Can Make Friends Social Story by Kelli Writes Social Stories on Teachers Pay Teachers

4. Free Being a Good Friend Social Story by Miss Allison's Class

5. Free Being with my Friends Story by Tania Kraus

6. Free Talking with my Friends Social Story by Tania Kraus

7. Free Walking with a Friend Social Story by Tania Kraus

Video Social Stories for Kids About Friendship

Video social stories can be a great way to teach kids about friendship. Here are some helpful videos!

Free social stories about friends
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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To the Parent of a Child Who Was Just Diagnosed with Autism (8 Things You Should Know)

Things I want parents to know when their child is diagnosed with autism. Great practical autism parenting tips!

A couple of recent conversations with parents of kids awaiting diagnosis or who had just received a fresh diagnosis reminded me of just how loaded the term autism is. Many people are terrified of their children being labeled and perhaps most are terrified of the word autism itself. It is something I have written about before and I could easily write more about.

But I remember those early days after J's diagnosis. There was just so much to process, even though I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis.

So, here I am, many years later, ready and willing to pass on my best advice. Advice that I hope parents of freshly diagnosed autistic children will find helpful.

8 things you should know when your child is diagnosed with autism

What you Should Know Now that Your Child has Been Diagnosed with Autism

Now, obviously, there are a billion other things I would like to tell you about parenting an autistic child, but I am afraid I would overwhelm you. Ha! I get a wee bit passionate about this particular topic. Although, I tend to stay away from the controversial topics and just say "do your research" instead. 

So to the mom or dad currently reading this, there are 8 things I think you should know about your newly diagnosed autistic child.

8 things you should know when your child is diagnosed with autism
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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Autism Meltdowns Are Rarely Ever About the Little Things (Like Cheerios)

A personal reflection on a child's autism meltdown. 

Autism meltdowns are commonplace in our house. If you are a parent of an autistic child like myself, then you have likely been through your fair share of meltdowns with your child as well.

For some reason, I felt compelled to write about a certain meltdown that occurred recently. I took to Instagram to share the story, but quickly hit the word limit. I didn't even know Instagram had a word limit. Now I do know. 

Anyway, I stripped the story down until the basic gist of the story still remained intact. You can see the original short form on Instagram here. Below you will find the original full version that I had hoped to share.

A personal story about an autism meltdown that started with cheerios

Autism Meltdowns: Why It's Never Just About The Cheerios

It is never just about the cheerios.

See, yesterday started off like any other Sunday morning. The kids sort of slept in. You know, until like 7 or 7:30, I am not really sure. As usual, they helped themselves to some cereal and, with bowls in their hands, slipped into J's room to play. I could hear their giggles from across the hall while I laid in bed, catching up on my blog emails and notifications.

Just a regular lazy Sunday morning.

Fast forward about 40 minutes, where the four of us piled into the car, the kids still in their pajamas, so we could go do a Pokemon Go raid. Because that is what we do. We game together every single day and explore new areas of the city together, in search of those digital pocket monsters. We have a lot of fun playing Pokemon Go together, even when it is freezing cold out, like it has been here in Saskatchewan.

The kids each had a bag filled with sliced apples. And another bag filled with cheerios.

Not just any cheerios.

Apple cinnamon cheerios.

But then I had to stop for a red light halfway to our destination, perhaps hitting the brakes a touch harder than usual.

That is when one certain bag of cheerios, slightly open, slid off the back seat and onto the floor of our car.

Little tiny Os now littered the floor.

Apple cinnamon cheerios were everywhere.

Then, as if a light switch was suddenly turned on, screams from the back seat.



An autism meltdown.

At that particular moment, the world around J was simply too much.

And the only solution he could muster up was to turn around, head back home, and refill that bag with the exact same number of cheerios.

We reassured him that there were still plenty of cheerios in the bag.

Nope. He was not happy with that.

He needed to have the bag refilled to the exact same number of cheerios until the moment they spilled upon the floor.

There was only one possible way to fix this problem, according to him, and he would most definitely not budge. Typical for him during meltdowns.

And we were not going to turn back around just to refill the bag of cheerios, even if that seemed like the easiest way out.

Instead, my husband and I guided him through the meltdown as best as we could, letting the meltdown run its course.

This meltdown was hard. Not for me, goodness no. But for him. It is always hard for him. He was helpless and distraught at this particular moment. He was angry and frustrated. Visibly upset.

He was simply overwhelmed.

And he exploded.

Just like the bag of cheerios.

But it was never about those damn cheerios in the first place.

It never is.

His meltdowns are always a build up of something else.

What was it in this case? That, I have no idea.

When we got home some 20 or so minutes later, he still went on, in between yelling and crying and hitting, about the apple cinnamon cheerios and how he needed more in that bag.

Of course, we had no more. The last of the Os from the box were emptied earlier into that bag and then subsequently, on the floor of our car. That is how things work...of course...

But as with all meltdowns, they eventually subside. And as always, I am there for J during and after those meltdowns.

Because I am his safe place.

After the meltdown, it was like the cheerios never even existed. They were no longer important to him.

Because meltdowns are rarely ever actually about the little things like cheerios.

They are always the expression of something else, something bigger.

Yesterday, cheerios were the breaking point for him. Today it could be something entirely different.

But all that matters is that he knows I will be there to help him pick up the cheerios.

Other Autism Parenting Resources You'll Love

Autism Resources for Parents

Weekly Autism Planner

What I Want My Autistic Son to Know

A personal story about an autism meltdown that started with cheerios
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Thursday, March 29, 2018

Activities & Printables That Teach Kids How to Take Turns & Share

Social skills resources, activities, and printables for helping you with how to teach turn taking and sharing to kids.

Turn taking and sharing can be tricky concepts for kids to master, but it is certainly an important social skill to teach your kids.

The social skills resources below will help make teaching kids how to take turns and share so much easier! With hands-on activity ideas and helpful printables, you're going to love these resources!

Turn taking activities & ideas for teaching kids how to share

Tips for How to Teach Turn Taking Skills to Kids

Practical advice and suggestions on how to best teach your kids the concepts of taking turns and sharing.

1. 8 Tips on How to Teach Turn Taking Skills

2. 4 Simple Ways to Practice Taking Turns from Encourage Play

3. Tips to Encourage Sharing in Your Children from Mama Instincts

4. 4 Tips to Teach Your Child to Share from The Realistic Mama

Free Printable Resources to Help Kids Learn About Taking Turns

These printable resources will help your kids master the hidden rules of sharing, build vocabulary, and visually guide them through the process of taking turns.

1. Free Visual Turn Taking Cue Cards

2. Free Turn Taking Hidden Rules Social Skills Printable

3. Free Printable Turn Taking & Sharing Social Script

4. Free Social Stories About Sharing & Turn Taking

5. Free Let's Take Turns Visual from Creative CiCi on Teachers Pay Teachers

Fun Activities to Help Kids Practice Taking Turns & Sharing

Around here, we believe in the power of play and hands-on learning. It's how kids learn best! These social skills activities will make practicing the social skills of taking turns and sharing much more fun!

1. Musical Imitation Game

2. Pom Pom Turn Taking Game from One Time Through

3. Pass the Ice Cream Sharing Activity from Sunny Day Family

4. The Sharing Ball from What Do We Do All Day?

5. Elephant & Piggie Shape Sharing Activity from Mosswood Connections

Other Turn Taking Resources

There are lots of other ways to make this social skill concept fun and easy to teach, such as by reading books together or singing songs about sharing.

1. Best Children's Books About Taking Turns & Sharing from Living Montessori Now

2. Taking Turns & Sharing Songs & Rhymes from Bits of Positivity

3. Picture Books that Teach Kids About Sharing from A Book Long Enough

4. Picture Books About Sharing from All Done Monkey

Other Social Skills Resources You'll Love

List of 50 Social Skills to Teach Kids

Social Skills Apps for Kids

Huge Collection of Social Skills Resources

Turn taking activities & ideas for teaching kids how to share
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