My son’s first t-ball practice. At not even four years old, you could say I was bit nervous of how it would go. Needless to say, he was not nervous at all.
He instantly started running around the bases, excited to be “playing sports.” Overall, it was a great experience, though there were some troublesome areas specifically:
- Following coaches’ instructions
- Keeping hands off other children
So our first t-ball became another first for us…the first opportunity to use a social story to help him understand t-ball.
Because of his hyperlexia, our son thrives on learning from the written word. Social stories are a great alternative to verbal discussions of a topic. And we have fun making little “books” on what’s going on in our lives.
So today we made a t-ball social story.
The key here is the make the story short and engaging. And my son always helps me make the story, and in doing so is more invested in it.
Start simple. Simple illustrations here, as well. I want to keep his attention while we are creating his book.
We then focused on what makes it fun.
Next we added what I wanted him to learn. We talked about what this would look like and even did some role play. His favorite part was when he got to pretend he was the coach. “Chomp like an alligator,” he told me. It was fun to see what he remembered from his first practice! (Alligator chomping being a metaphor for catching the ball with his glove.)
This was, to me, the most important page. Our son sometimes struggles with appropriate social interactions and in his excited state gave quite a few hugs and snuggles, as well as continually flicked a little girl’s hat off. We didn’t focus on it too much in our book, just drew it and discussed it briefly. We still want this to be a fun activity without me lecturing him. We will bring this up again before his next practice, as well as discuss it afterwards.
On the final page we wrap up the story. For this page I asked my son what he wanted it to say. In one word he summed up his feelings for his new sport and validated any nervous feelings I had about starting him on a team sport! “Superstar!”
Social stories are simple and fun to make, and they teach important lessons too! Comment below with any questions you may have or to share any social stories you have made! What was the first social story you utilized with your child? Was it helpful?