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Speech Pathologists help children develop and improve language, communication, cognitive processing, and social skills. They evaluate and treat children of all ages with disorders ranging from mild delays in development to severe communication delays and syndromes. Treatment can be one-on-one or in groups and may involve augmentative technology or be facilitated with the use of sensory equipment. All therapies incorporate play and motivating activities with the goal of the functional use of communication skills in the child’s everyday environments.
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  • Alternative and augmentative communication: high-tech and low tech
  • Articulation Delay (making sounds) and Phonological Delay
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Childhood apraxia/dyspraxia of speech and other motor speech disorders (e.g. dysarthia)
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Cognitive communication deficits (e.g., memory/recall, sequencing
  • Delayed communication milestones (late talkers)
  • Early Intervention (birth-3)
  • Feeding/oral motor difficulties
  • General Language Delays (below normal language development)
  • Genetic disorders/syndromes (e.g., Down Syndrome)
  • Global developmental delays
  • Hearing Impairments (mild to severe ear damage)
  • Literacy development
  • Narrative language (story-telling) challenges
  • Pragmatic (social skills) disorders
  • Receptive (understanding language) and Expressive (expressing ideas) Language Impairment
  • Stuttering
  • Tongue thrust
  • Tongue – Tie
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Voice disorders (e.g., hoarse/harsh voice, volume control, pitch)

  • Language Development
  • Articulation Therapy
  • Floortime
  • ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis)
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Parental Education
  • Teacher Collaboration

Therapists at BPHT may incorporate Social StoriesTM into group or individual therapy sessions as a way to ease the transition between activities or help explain unfamiliar social concepts.

History of Social StoriesTM

In 1991, Carol Gray, Director of The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding in Grand Rapids, MI, developed Social StoriesTM‚ and Comic Strip Conversations, strategies that are used worldwide with children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). She has published several resources on topics related to children and adults with ASD, including articles on bullying, death and dying, and how to teach social understanding. Since that time, an increased understanding of the approach, coupled with research and experience from those using the tool, has resulted in minor but important revisions to the original definition. The Defining Criteria and Guidelines, known as Social StoriesTM‚ 10.0, can be purchased from The Gray Center as a download.

What Is A Social StoryTM?

A Social Story‚TM describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. The goal of a Social Story‚TM is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience. Half of all Social Stories‚ developed should affirm something that an individual does well. Although the goal of a Story‚ should never be to change the individual’s behavior, that individual’s improved understanding of events and expectations may lead to more effective responses.

Although Social Stories‚TM were first developed for use with children with ASD, the approach has also been successful with adolescents and adults with ASD, other social and communication delays and differences, and individuals developing normally.

How Can Social StoriesTM Benefit My Child?

Creating a Social StoryTM is a great way to prevent a possible meltdown during a transition or in a new situation. Social StoriesTM describe a situation or concept in a format understandable to a child with autism. Stories can explain expected behaviors, give simple steps for achieving certain goals or outcomes, or teach new routines and anticipated actions. Providing Social StoriesTM before an event or activity can decrease a child’s anxiety, improve their behavior, and help them understand the event from the perspective of others. Prepare children with autism for transitions by describing the new experience to them and creating simple rules to define the social situation.

Creating Your Own Social StoryTM

There are four key parts in creating a positive and effective Social StoryTM. Try following the steps and create your own Social StoryTM geared towards your child and their specific situations.

  1. Descriptive Sentence, Describe the situation in a neutral, fact based way.
  2. Perspective Sentence, Statements that describe other people’s thoughts or feelings about the situation.
  3. Directive Sentence, Gives suggested responses or  choices of responses that would be appropriate, e.g., “I can ask my friends to play.” or, “I will try to stay in my chair.”
  4. Affirmative Sentence, These might state a rule or reassure the child, e.g., “One child slides down at a time. This is safe and okay.” Sentences might also express shared values, e.g., “It’s good to play fair when playing games.”

Sample Social Stories TM

Washing My HandsFrom

I can wash my hands when they are dirty. My hands get dirty when I do many things, such as playing with toys, after using the toilet, and playing outside.

An adult will tell me when I need to wash my hands. I will try to wash my hands when the adult tells me.

Washing my hands gets them clean again. I need to wash my hands before I eat. Washing my hands is a healthy thing to do. I will try to remember to wash my hands before I eat and after I use the bathroom without having an adult remind me.

The water will run over my hands. It may be cold. It is okay to wait until the water is warm. The soap might feel slippery on my hands. When my hands are slippery, it means that the soap is working to clean my hands of dirt and germs. These are the steps for washing my hands:

  1. Turn on the water.
  2. Squirt soap in my hands.
  3. Put my hands under the water.
  4. Rub my hands together and make soap bubbles. I can rub them while I say the ABCs.
  5. Rinse the soap off my hands.
  6. Dry my hands on a towel.

My hands can feel good when they are clean. I will try to follow all the steps and have clean hands.

Greetings, by Michele Gardner From

  • People like it when I say “hi” to them.
  • There are many times during the day when I can say “hi” to people.
  • I can say “hi” to my family when I get up in the morning.
  • I can say “hi” to my bus driver.
  • I can say “hi” to my friends and teachers when I get to school.
  • I can even say “hi” to people I see in the hallway.
  • I can say “hi” to new people that I meet.
  • It makes people happy when you say “hi” to them.
  • I will try to say “hi” to the people I see during the day.

Links to More information about Social StoriesTM

I loved that the therapists listen to my concerns and were able to personalize my sons treatment as well as give me into that could help us at home. Therapy has always been something my son has looked forward to BPHT.
Dean Black
Crowds and sounds were becoming increasingly overwhelming for her, resulting in a lot of meltdowns and tantrums followed by withdrawal…. After several months of therapy, she is doing amazing. We’ve learned techniques to use in everyday situations to cope and help her be succesful in group and social situations.
Sherrie Jimenez