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Social Stories for Eating Non-Food Items

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Eating, or trying to eat, things that are not food is a fairly common childhood behavior. This lesson provides social stories that will help your students think through why they should not eat non-food items.

Teaching with Social Stories

As teachers, we sometimes have to help kids handle complicated behaviors that fall well outside the realm of academics. One such behavior is eating non-food items. If you have ever seen a child try to ball up a piece of paper and shove it in his mouth, or take a bite of a sandbox toy, you know how distressing this can be! There are a lot of different reasons why kids might try to eat things that are not food, but as teachers we need to show them why this is problematic behavior and what they can do instead.

Social stories are scripts that you can use to teach students explicit language and strategies for modifying their problematic behaviors. You can alter the social stories offered here to meet the exact needs and issues facing the students you are working with.

Eating Non-Food Items Out of Anxiety

When I am in school I have to work really hard. I need to stay focused and listen to what my teacher is saying. I have to keep my body still and do my best work. Sometimes, I have to answer questions that feel confusing or hard.

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