See how the cog model and individual cogs contributed to composing social stories to help a pupil with ASD participate in his Christmas Party and manage his strong emotions
This example shows how the cog model and individual cogs contributed to composing social stories to help a pupil with ASD participate in his Christmas Party and manage his strong emotions.
The pupil is a P4 boy with ASD in a mainstream school. Going on previous big events and gatherings, it was known that the upcoming Christmas party would be emotionally triggering for the pupil and would likely bring about behaviours that would result in him needing to withdraw from the party and missing out on games and Santa’s visit.
The Component Model Dialogue Tool was used initially to discuss previous triggering events, to identify the behaviours & body changes seen, and to interpret the likely emotions and intensity behind them. The background influences box reminded staff to be mindful of the child’s diagnoses of ASD & ADHD, and some of his presentations. A positive influence was his tendency to be supported by social stories. For last year’s Christmas party a social story was created to help manage his excitement on the lead up to the party. However, his strong desire to win at the games and the disappointment of being out or not winning a game resulted in ‘bossy’ behaviours and expressions of disappointment that resulted in him being laughed at by other pupils, which escalated his upset to the point that he missed out on the rest of the party and Santa’s visit.
It was decided that the pupil could be helped to participate in the party using a visual timetable with incentives for joining in for ‘bite-sized’ periods of time and then spending time away from the party for quiet time with a chosen adult. To manage his expectations about winning, a social story about feeling disappointed and angry was created, with a strategy for leaving the party for a little while and coming back again. To support him to manage his excitement about Santa’s visit, another social story spelled out the body signs and behavioural signals that help the adults know when to use the timetable to have time away for quiet time. Using a timer to wait for his present from Santa was also included. This was helped by the fact that his present was strategically positioned 5th from the top!