Why Use A Birthday Party Social Story?
Are you looking for a birthday party social story for your autistic student or child? Birthday parties can be so overwhelming! First, take into account the sensory aspects of a birthday party. There are usually decorations, which can be visually overwhelming for children with autism. Next, think about the noise at a child’s birthday party. Yikes! Being prepared when children are sensitive to sound can help. Bring some noise-blocking headphones, and read a social story about wearing headphones. In addition, the routine will be totally different than a normal playdate. Oftentimes, when a child goes to a birthday party, it is the first time they have been to that friend’s house. So again, the child’s routine is being thrown off, they don’t know what to expect, and anxiety and confusion can creep in.
Remember that the birthday party social story is a great way to prepare, and be proactive. The pages of this story do not have numbers on them. That way, you can choose the pages that make the most sense for your child. At the end of the story, there are break cards. If you teach the child how to request a break ahead of time, this can be super helpful at the party! Bring something your child likes to do as a backup (books, little toys), in case they need a little time away from the chaos. You might even want to chat with the other parent ahead of time to see if there is a quiet spot in the house to retreat to for a break if needed.
Check out this blog post that talks a little more about preparing children with autism for special events, like class parties. A visual schedule can help prepare children for changes or routines that will be different. Using a visual schedule can help reduce anxiety and is a proactive way to introduce a new activity.
If you are looking for visuals and activities to help your students with self-regulation, check out this preschool self-regulation activities resource.
Also, the new Visual Supports Starter Set is free. Just follow the link, sign up, and I will send it to your inbox!