Some new ways to do old favourites…..

No doubt you are familiar with social stories and the value they can provide for the people you support. ANYONE who is having difficulty in a social situation can benefit from using a Social Story to learn more about that situation and how to respond appropriately.

You may not be aware, however, of the many apps out there that can help you to quickly and easily prepare social stories on your iOS devices. Here is a brief review of five of the gems “for under $5!!” that we have used to develop social stories.

  • Creative Book Builder ($4.49): A highly recommended app for producing you own ebooks that can be read by any ePub reader including iBooks. Book content can include text, images, audio files and video.
  • SonicPics ($2.99): This app allows you to turn your images into a slideshow movie, in m4v format, to share with family and friends with your own custom narration recorded. It has a very intuitive user interface.
  • StoryBuddy 2 ($2.99): StoryBuddy provides a great platform to create, read and share stories with your own photos, hand drawn pictures and recorded narration. The publishing features are extensive also.
  • Strip Designer ($2.99): This fun app allows you to create stories that look like comic strips by using your own photos. The user interface is very friendly and there are many publishing features, but the stories do not have any voice recording capabilities.
  • Talk’n photos ($2.99): Talk’n photos is a simple to navigate talking photo album to which you can add your own voice recordings. Would be great to have some alternative publishing features and views for the story.

And for a bit of fun, check out these “3 for FREE” apps that can also be used to develop social stories.

  • Puppet Pals (FREE): Create your own puppet shows with animation and recorded speech that can then be shared via MMS, email, or YouTube. The purchasable “Director’s Cut” version allows you to include your own photos as characters and backgrounds.
  • Sock Puppets (FREE): This fun app lets you create your own lip-synced sock puppet shows which can then be shared on Facebook and YouTube.
  • StoryKit (FREE): With this app you can create an electronic storybook by simply writing text, illustrating or adding a photo and recording your sounds. Published stories do not include sound.

For many more apps that can create social stories, provide visual supports and positive behaviour support, and for more detailed reviews and links to demonstration videos, check out the apps for Special Ed list. It is just one of many growing resources in the Apple and apps related resources section of our Blog.

Please note: This article has been adapted from a similar version submitted by the same author to AGOSCI In Focus, May Edition, 2012.

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About Katie Lyon

Katie is a speech pathologist and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) consultant who has been working with young children and adults with complex communication needs for the past 13 years. She has had worked in various roles including Coordinator of the Non-electronic Communication Aid Scheme and Regional Communication Service in Victoria as part of the state-wide Communication Access Network. She has a keen interest in supporting families, teachers, direct support workers and therapists to access information about AAC and assistive technology through education and training. She currently works part-time with Spectronics and part-time with the Communication Resource Centre at Scope in Victoria.

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