Social Stories and Challenging Behaviors
Using social stories to explain challenging behaviors is another great way to help individuals with autism, communicative disorders, mental retardation as well as a gamete of other disabilities. When an individual gets angry, hits, kicks or tantrums.. what do you do? Many times we find ourselves in these situations. Most times the behavior occurs because they don’t know how to express what they are feeling, needing or wanting. Using social stories to give them the appropriate strategies for coping with situations is a great way to help them reduce the stress and frustration they may be feeling or to empower them to make the appropriate choices to get what they want without engaging in the behavior.
Strategies Used when Dealing with Challenging Behaviors Through the Use of Social Stories
- Provides a concrete visual representation of the behavior that the individual is engaging in such as touching, hitting, tantrums, yelling as well as a variety of other unwanted behaviors.
- Provides a model of appropriate ways to respond instead of engaging in the unwanted behavior such as asking for help, taking a deep breath, taking a break or just asking to discuss the situation more appropriately.
- Provides an understanding of what is expected of them when they feel angry or want to engage in the behavior in question.
- Helps them understand how others feel when they engage in the unwanted behavior and the consequences that may happen because of their actions.
- Promotes self monitoring of their own behavior so that they can use these strategies during their everyday life promoting a feeling of self worth, well being and independence as they learn to engage the world more appropriately throughout the day.
Challenging behaviors for individuals with special needs can be taxing on everyone around them as well as the person themselves. When they don’t have the tools to make the appropriate choices in how to act to situations they will revert back to old habits that in the pass have worked for them. This often leads to the challenging behaviors we see during these situations. Replacing these behaviors with more appropriate strategies for dealing with situations in their lives is the best way to help and individual with special needs and one that will continue to help them for the rest of their lives.
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