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Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story

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Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story comprises of a 13 page social story about using words to ask for what you want.  The app includes a section that can be used as a visual prompt or mini communication device for asking for 9 common requests. 
 
The story focuses on why it is important to use words to ask for things that you need or want.  Illustrations and visual prompts support understanding for verbal and less-verbal children alike.

Teacher Review

This app is primarily a social story app and its focus is on encouraging children to use words to ask for things that they want. It is a simple idea to many but for those working with children on the autistic spectrum other communication difficulties it can have many important implications. 
 
The social story is well written and clearly sets out that using words to ask for things will help the child get what they want. It starts out by discussing feelings that children may have and explaining that if you can ask for what you want it may help avoid some negative feelings.   Clear and helpful illustrations provide an important visual support for the child.  Some of the illustrations feature hand signs for the request.
 
The social story is in American English and the in app voice has an American accent. The hand signs shown are also in American Sign Language.  Some British users my find this a minor problem but there is very little impact upon the relevance of the app in practice.   The sign for “help” (one of the most important requests) is the same in ASL, BSL and Makaton.  The only other hand sign suggested is “more”, which is different to BSL and Makaton but this does not detract significantly from the usefulness of the app.  Users could use their own visuals and hand signs to support children’s communication in conjunction with the app.
 
The “Use my words” section shows the 9 requests from the social story, each with it’s own visual button.  When the buttons are pressed the in app voice reads the request. The 9 requests are “I want…” a hug, help, bathroom, more, a break, to eat, to drink, a book and “I’m all done.”  

Screenshots

  • Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story-1Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story-2Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story-3Using My Words to Ask For What I Want Social Story-4

From the Developer

This app includes a 13 page social story about using words to ask for what you want, and a simple visual support for manding, or asking for different objects or activities.

The story focuses on why it’s important to tell people what you need or want, and the visual tool helps people who are non-verbal to ask for 9 specific things.

The app opens up to a menu that allows the user to read the story, or access 9 buttons that “speak” when tapped asking for different items or activities.

“Mands” or requests are typically the easiest type of speech to teach children because they lead so directly to, and in fact specify, a reinforcer. Certain individuals, particularly those with a communication delay as someone diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, may need more direct instruction in learning to “use their words” to get what they need or want.

Social stories are an important type of visual support often used with children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome or other special need. Teaching conversational skills to any child may be easier and less stressful when visual supports, like social stories are used. This social story uses simple text and descriptive pictures to explain why and how to use words to ask for what you want or need.

Social stories were first defined by Carol Gray in 1991 and are commonly used to break down a task or social situation into small and easy to understand steps, often accompanied by descriptive pictures. Social stories are easy to implement and are used by many professionals for a wide range of behaviors and skills.

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