Social story for travelling by plane.

We're doing it again, attempting to take a holiday in the UK. Two years ago, it was a bit of a fiasco as far as Max was concerned. He had daily meltdowns because he wanted to go home. We travelled around far too much, to visit relatives, go to a conference, and even took the train to Paris for a couple of weeks. And we had a huge amount of trouble getting Max into a plane - he had to be carried in screaming a couple of times. Not fun.

Then, last year, we discovered social stories. Drawing things for Max before they happen really worked. He would know what to expect, would rehearse it in his head, and be prepared. We drew some when we were going to fly to the coast to holiday with Marianne and her family. Max wasn't reading yet, but he understood pictures, no matter how sketchily drawn, really well. We got him there and back without too much problem, and there were no major meltdowns while we were there. It was a good holiday for all. No mean feat.

Then last month we went to Cappadocia and I drew some very detailed social stories about travelling and being there. Because Max can now read I also inserted quite a bit of text, which enabled me to get more detail into the sequences. This was a success. Max loves going to Cappadocia, but he always gets nervous at various points during our stay and that means he's more likely to have meltdowns. This time, he was relaxed the whole time, enjoyed every moment, and was even able to take in small variations in the plans.

So now our plane tickets are confirmed, I'm beginning to get busy with the stories. That means asking the people we're staying with some very detailed questions about houses and habits and stuff, and of course, producing the stories is, as you can imagine, quite time consuming. One thing I've tried is to scan the pictures and enter the text with  a picture editor. This saves me having to draw the letters carefully enough so that Max can actually decipher them.

So, anyhow, here's what I've got so far.  Any ideas as to how I might make it better are welcome. And please fell free to download it and put in your own text if you think that would be useful (I've used Picnic, which is free and easy to use).


Roger said...

You're coming to Wales - can I suggest you draw some rain?

Sandrine said...

Yes, I'm on to that one. I'm not quite sure how to put it yet. 'At home, if it rains, we wait indoors till it stops. In Wales, we have to go out eventually, otherwise we won't get to eat.' Or: 'In Wales you can play on the beach and get all wet without going into the water!' I feel the second is more positive. Any further suggestions?

Roberta Wedge said...

Are you spending time in London, or avoiding it like the Black Death? Attractions include not only excellent child-oriented stuff such as the Science Museum, but also lots of Mary Wollstonecraft! Show the kids the human side of your book.

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Say hello to Wales for me, hope the sun shines for you :) And I so wish I could draw, I love these pictures, they make the social stories look so professional x

Sandrine said...

Roberta: Ah, I wish I could come to London! Not an option though, as we want to keep it super simple. I'm sort of hoping I can persuade someone that I need to do research in London... I haven't been there for ages, probably since the last time they had the black plague!

Blue Sky: I'd be happy to draw you one sometime if you send me a story! Let me know.

LinzW1976 said...

I think these are fabulous! I can't think of anything to make them better, which isn't very helpful but they sum up a flight brilliantly! My son would love them actually... Good luck with the trip! x

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