★ Helen Wagner, caregiver:
"Social Stories" is a life-saver for teachers and parents working with special needs kids. A social story is simply a short, specific narrative, usually with pictures, outlining the correct way to behave in a certain situation. The repetitive use of social stories is an effective way to reach and teach children with social delays, such as children on the autism spectrum. This app enables the quick creation of social stories to teach good behavioral sklls. The quick and easy part of the creation process is the golden egg....very often teachers and parents need to react quickly to turn problem behaviors around...and this program is soooo easy to use that creation of a social story to address any problem can be made right on the spot. The app comes with three examples of social stories: Getting on the Bus, Eating, and Putting on Shoes. To create your own social story, just click the Add button and press the + to add a page. Type your text, or social instructions, in the ready-to-use text box. Now, click Photo to either take a quick picture of the target you want to teach, or get your picture from your camera roll in your ipod or ipad. Insert picture, insert text...it is that quick! You can add pages to the story if you need more than one. It is that simple! As an SLP working in collaborative special needs classes, this very quick way to create social stories "on the fly" is EXACTLY what we have been needing! I most highly recommend it!
★ Michelle H, caregiver:
I found "Social Stories" a very easy app to navigate and get around. The processes to create a new story, edit or delete stories were so easy and intuitive. One thing I would like to suggest is that a sample story that is more than one page long be added to the line up. Just to show what navigating through multiple pages looks like and as a sample story for building multiple pages to your own stories. Not essential, but it may showcase what the app can do really well. This app was great for presenting the pages of the story simply and without distraction. There was plenty of room for text to accompany each image and I really liked that each page had to be dismissed by using an arrow button. In some apps, it can be too easy at times for children to swipe away a page that you'd like them to focus on. The customisation potential of this app is just super. Very easy to add images and very quickly make up a story to suit your immediate and individual needs. I am fussy with images, though and didn't really like that I couldn't get an image loaded that wasn't stretched or thinned. Some of the stock images were also skewed and that just detracted from the presentation for me anyway. I'm not sure what is causing that but it may be something for the developer to check out? If you want to sit down at night and make up a few social stories using this app you'll need a ready collection of your own images ready to go. There are only a few stock images provided with the app. I would second the benefit of adding in the ability to record a voice reading the social stories, especially for children who have trouble focussing or cannot read the text. It also gives them an opportunity to perhaps press a button to hear the speech and interact with the story. Thanks for a great app and social stories tool.
★ Bethany Thompson, special education teacher:
First of all, thank you so much for the opportunity to review this app. I teach high school students with disabilities, and have been writing social stories for five years and am familiar with the process. I have also used several different apps for social stories, and found this to be the most user friendly. I'm a little late to review, and I agree with most of the recommendations of the previous posters. I especially agree that it is essential to have the ability to have the story read aloud. Many of my students can not read complex text or are auditory learnrrs. My pictures were a bit distorted, but after playing with my settings when taking or saving pictures they were acceptable. I like having the ability to add as many pages as needed, use my own pictures, and having the text in two areas on the page. I understand the comments that those unfamiliar with social stories would struggle to learn the format using this app, but in my opinion it is most helpful to work with a professional (speech therapist, behavior intervention specialist, OT, special education teacher, etc) to learn to write social stories rather than learning the process from an iPad app. I would recommend this app to the parents of my students, especially once the ability to read the text aloud is added. It is user friendly, easy to customize, and affordable for most families. You are free to share my comments. Thank you!