Going to High School Social Stories

Instructor: Amanda Robb

Amanda holds a Masters in Science from Tufts Medical School in Cellular and Molecular Physiology. She has taught high school Biology and Physics for 8 years.

In this lesson, we'll be looking at examples of social stories that you can use to explain to students what going to high school will be like. We'll look at common problems such as a lack of routine, more schoolwork and making friends.

What Are Social Stories?

Social stories are short stories that focus on a social situation a student is struggling with. They explain what the student is currently doing and how it makes other people feel, and gives the student new behavior options for the future. Social stories can be especially helpful for students with autism or ADHD, but can be used for any students who need guidance in social situations.

Today, we're going to be looking at examples of social stories that address the challenge of going to high school. We'll look at three common issues: changes in routines, increased amount of school work, and making new friends.

Jasmine's Story: Changing Routines

Jasmine is a student with anxiety in a special education classroom. Each day, she transitions from her homeroom to her next class by lining up with her classmates and teacher. She likes routines like this because they help her stay on track between classes and throughout the day. Jasmine is scared about going to a larger high school, getting lost and missing her classes. Let's look at a social story that could help Jasmine prepare for this transition.

'In middle school, when I had to change classes, I would line up with my classmates and we would all go to our next class together. This helped me make sure that I got to the right class and that I got there on time. I liked this because it helped me get to where I needed to go and stay on time.

This year, I am going to high school. I am excited to go to high school because it means I am growing up and learning new things. But, high school is different than middle school. You have to walk to your classes by yourself. When you are in your first class, the bell will ring. Everyone gets their stuff and walks to their next class by themselves.

I'm nervous because I used to walk to my next class with my teacher and classmates. I'm scared I will get lost, or I will be late or get in trouble. But, I can still get help with this even though I am in high school. I can ask my teacher how to get to my next class. I can also ask a friend to walk with me.

Even if I do get lost my first day, that is okay. Lots of students get lost in high school. I'm not alone. Like other students, I'll learn how to get to my classes.'

Henry's Story: Too Much Schoolwork

Henry is a student with ADHD in high school. In middle school, lots of people monitored his homework and helped him stay organized. This year, he is feeling overwhelmed with his schoolwork. As his special education teacher, you craft the following social story to help Henry.

'In middle school, lots of teachers helped me organize my homework. I got a special sheet to write my homework down on and they all checked in with me about getting my work done. I liked this because it helped me get my grades up.

Now I am in high school. I like high school because I have more freedom. But, no one helps me organize my school work. My teachers expect me to do this on my own. My teachers assign me homework and then collect it the next day. I get distracted easily, and I forget to do my homework a lot of the time. My grades are going down. I don't like having bad grades.

I can make my grades better by doing my homework. My teachers want to help me, but I have to ask for help first in high school. I can ask them to help me make a sheet to keep track of my homework like I had in middle school. I can also ask to stay after school to get extra help. If I do these things, I will be able to turn in more homework, and then my grades will go up.'

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