Home > Topic of the Week > Going To A Big Family Party!

Going To A Big Family Party!

Holidays gatherings, meeting new people, eating new foods can be challenging for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families. One way to prepare and  help family members with ASD is to plan ahead by creating a Social Story to help a person with ASD prepare for a new or unique situation. Social Stories can be tailored to an individual’s preferences and situation. They promote a social understanding, as well as self- understanding. We’ve included a Social Story, “ We’re Going to a Family Dinner from The New Social Story Book, by Carol Gray.

Have you developed a Social Story to help your family member prepare for a big family gathering? We invite you to share your Social Story or other recommendations you have for other families to help them prepare for Thanksgiving day or other large family gatherings.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Autism Speaks!

  1. Theresa Oller
    November 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Hi, We have been using social stories or what I like to call cognitive stories for close to three years now. My daughter is 5 and last year she got an iPad. It’s been do much easier then the old way ( take picture write storie laminate and three ring it) now just take pictures and use an app called pictello. I use my own voice to narrate the story and add extra flare to the picture.
    She started a new school this fall. I wrote a story and took pictures of the campus, teachers, aids, and playground front and back door to the classroom. I started reading the story right when preschool ended. We went to visit over summer break. We were not even to the parking lot and she started screaming with excitement. She grabbed her iPad opened her new school story and when to the picture of the front of the school. She knew her way around just from the story. Then what topped it off, she walked right up to HER classroom out of a choice of 4 classroom doors. Scocial (cognitive) stories are the way to go at least with my daughter

  2. Star
    November 21, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Social stories have never really worked with my daughter but telling her in as simple language as possible has. Plus keeping up with traditions has also helped her. She is 9 years old and actually LOVES the holidays. She get sto see people she hasn’t seen in a long time like her favorite Uncle and she also gets to have her fave food (Turkey leg). As a younger child we really didn’t have an issue with her being too stimulated since most dinners are at my home. She would simply get up and go to her room or my room or the computer room. It also helps that our family is so supportive of her. If she gets up and walk away no one judges her or questions her manners they just know. If we go to a family members house she will play in the yard or hang around the other kids and they try to include her. She has yet to have a bad Holiday (Thank God) I think the fact that I’m not stressed or worried also plays a big part. My daughter feeds off of my emotions so If she sees I’m having fun she does too. The best way to enjoy the holidays is if family and friends support you and accept your child.

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