Services FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS
Individual sessions are held either at my office or your home or school in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Gracemere, Mount Morgan and surrounding areas.
Please contact us for further information.
Communication and interactions with others can be confusing and daunting for some people. Strategies and skills can include appropriate use of language and non-verbal cues, understanding the ‘rules’ of conversations like turn taking and active listening, as well as conflict resolution, and play skills.
Emotional awareness and identification
Self-regulation therapies can support the individual to further develop skills in order to monitor and control their behaviours, emotions and thoughts. A variety of skills are taught to enable individuals to be able to self-regulate by managing and controlling their emotions and how they manage their thought processes.
Social Stories improve understanding of concepts, skills and situations, and often result in more effective responses. They are helpful in assisting people in a number of ways. They can assist with developing social skills, self-care skills, and academic abilities. They can be used as a behavioural strategy or help someone to understand how others might behave or respond in a particular situation. They can help a person to cope with changes to routine, transitions and unexpected or distressing events, or help prepare for situations before they happen.
Social Stories are also helpful in assisting people by providing positive feedback to a person about an area of strength or achievement in order to develop self-esteem. They can also help others understand the perspective of an autistic person and why they may respond or behave in a particular way.
What are Social Stories?
Social Stories use stories to explain social situations to children and adolescents and help them learn socially appropriate behaviour and responses. These stories are sometimes called social scripts, social narratives or story-based interventions.
What’s the idea behind Social Stories?
Social Stories were developed in 1991 by Carol Gray, a teacher working with young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Some people misunderstand or don’t pick up on social cues like body language, facial expressions, gestures and eye contact. Social Stories were developed as a way for children to learn how they should behave in social settings by explicitly pointing out details about the setting and what typically happens in that setting. These details help children pick up on cues they normally wouldn’t notice.
What are Social Stories used for?
Social Stories are used to teach children and adolescents about the social behaviour that’s expected in specific settings. A Social Story can be created for almost any social situation. Social Stories were initially developed for use with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). They’re now used to help other children with learning and intellectual disorders, as well as anxiety.
First, a Developmental Educator does a thorough assessment of the individual child to identify key areas of concern. The therapist then writes a Social Story based on a particular area or situation of concern. The tailor-made story is written in the first or third person and can be written in the past, present or future tense. The story is written using language to match the age and skill of the child. It’s usually presented in a book format and can include photos or illustrations.
Once a Social Story is completed, an adult reads the story with the child at least twice, to ensure the child can understand the story. Typically, the stories are read just before the event they describe. Parents and teachers help the child practise by reminding the child of the story’s key points. Once the child understands the social situation or learns the social behaviour and does it without prompting from adults, the story can be read less often and gradually phased out.
Through assessments and observations of the individual in a variety of everyday tasks, situations and activities, triggers for challenging behaviour can be identified. Strategies can then be developed and trialled to minimise the occurrence of those behaviours and replace them with more appropriate responses. This may include developing self-regulation skills, creating an environment that minimises and removes the antecedent, and developing an action plan.
Assessments and Program Development
Before beginning a therapy program or strategy, the developmental educator will complete the relevant assessments with the individual and their support network. These results will provide the developmental educator with a clearer picture of the individual’s strengths and where further work and development is needed, and will allow us to begin developing plans and strategies that best meet the individual’s unique needs.
If you have a NDIS plan, as part of the reporting requirements at each plan review, individual assessments need to be conducted before starting a new therapy and either when you finish the therapy or at the end of each plan. These assessments provide us with ‘pre and post-baseline data’, or in simple terms, it provides a snapshot of before and after therapy. This helps us when reporting on what progress was made and to develop recommendations for your future plan.