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Social Stories on Spitting

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 briefly review what a social story is and how to construct one. After that, you'll read some sample social stories about spitting and its consequences.

What Are Social Stories?

Have you ever felt unsure of how to proceed in a social situation? Although neurotypical students pick up on unspoken social cues most of the time, this process is difficult for students on the autism spectrum. Social stories are short, first person narratives that help students figure out social cues and other people's emotional perspectives. These short narratives are typically accompanied by pictures or multimedia presentations of what appropriate behavior looks like in these situations.

Spitting can be a negative behavior exhibited by students on the autistic spectrum, either because of a physical ailment or to express feelings or a need for attention. Here are some examples of social stories to help improve this behavior.

Spitting Due to Physical Ailment

My Dry Mouth

Sometimes I feel like my mouth has too much saliva in it.

I don't always feel like I can swallow my saliva.

I sometimes spit to get rid of the saliva.

Other people are used to swallowing their saliva and don't spit.

Other people think spitting is gross.

Spitting can spread germs.

Instead of spitting, I should swallow my saliva.

If I swallow my saliva, people will be more likely to talk to me and be nice to me.

It feels good when I do the right thing and swallow my saliva.

My Sore Mouth

Sometimes my mouth and throat hurt.

I don't like to swallow my saliva because they hurt.

Since swallowing hurts, I spit my saliva instead.

My teacher doesn't understand that my throat hurts, so she gets upset when I spit.

Spitting can spread germs, and other people don't want to get sick.

Instead, I can tell my teacher my throat hurts.

She can send me to the nurse so I can get medicine for my throat.

My throat will feel better and I'll be able to swallow my saliva.

If I swallow my spit, my teacher and classmates will be happy.

It's nice when other people are happy and that makes me happy.

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