Autism social stories can help you hit a homerun with your child.
We use autism social stories with great visuals to prepare children for new experiences. We also use these social picture stories for children with anxiety and/or sequencing issues. You might find them helpful too.
A dad and his child on the spectrum come to Kidmunicate twice a week. The dad loves baseball and often wears a Phillies hat. He fondly remembers going to games with his dad as a child. He is hoping to take his son to a Phillies game for his 8th birthday. The dad is excited about it, but a little concerned too. Going to baseball games is an experience every father and son should have, so he’s not going to deny his child a great bonding experience.
The child does very well on a set schedule and routine, but is prone to melt downs when things change unexpectedly. The child has some sensory issues (touch and loud noises), but they are manageable. We have had success using autism social stories with this child before.
We recommended using a social story to help the father prepare his son for this new experience. We love baseball too, so we created one for the father and for you. We recommended that the father talk about the game with his son every single day at a set time and use the autism social stories as a guide. We also recommended that he print out the social story on individual pages and talk about the events in chronological order. After a while, we told him to put all the pictures on a table randomly and together work on putting them in chronological order. As the game nears, the child should be able to explain all the steps and be ready to go. We also suggested watching a few games on TV. At Kidmunicate, we are also reinforcing the “baseball stadium” learning when the child is in therapy with us.
See the picture social story below or Download the PDF Kidmunicate Social Stories: Preparing to go to a MLB Baseball Game. If you want the Powerpoint Presentation to customize the story, send us an email.
The Kidmunication Point
Every father and son should experience a MLB baseball game together. Moms and daughters should too. Children with autism are regular kids who love baseball, hot dogs and cracker jacks. They should not be denied the experience of a major league game if they can handle the sensorial aspects of the game like noise, bumping / touching, fireworks, etc. All that is takes is a little bit of pre-planning. We think that picture social stories are a great tool to use to prepare your child for any new experience.
Here are 15 tips to prepare your autistic child for a trip to a MLB baseball game.
Use this picture story to start preparing your child days or weeks before the MLB game.
Watch a few games on the TV before you go.
Pick the right tickets for your child’s situation and print them at home to avoid long lines.
Do you want an open area where the noise will not echo as much? Then pick the upper deck.
Is the upper deck to high or too dangerous? Then pick the lower deck.
Do you want to be under a deck where the sun will not be as hot?
Do you want lower level seats to avoid escalators, elevators, stairs or ramps?
Do you want to sit in the middle of a row, so people are not constantly bumping your child to get out?
Do you want to sit at the end of an aisle for a quick exit, if necessary.
Buy cheaper seats for your child’s first game because you might have to leave early.
Pack noise canceling headphones, if necessary.
Tell your child that they can put them on whenever they want.
There are great food options at the stadium, but you might want to pack some familiar options.
Plus sometimes food lines are long and a snack can keep a hungry child from getting upset.
Pack some familiar and comforting items to distract your child.
Get to the stadium early before the crowds get big and lines get long.
Find a family restroom to use as a quiet room, if necessary.
Have your child sit in between two family members.
Avoid caffeinated drinks and super sugary foods like cotton candy.
Anticipate situations that will be difficult.
Going to the bathroom.
Waiting in line for food.
Be prepared for fireworks after a home run and after the game if the home team wins.
Explore other fun things to do in the stadium if the game gets boring for your child.
Pitching and hitting booths
Leave before the game is over to avoid the rush of people or stay until everyone has left.
Relax let your child be him or herself, it’s not a quiet theater, it’s an open and noisy stadium.
Pam Drennen MS CCC-SLP is the VP Director of Clinical Services Speech at Kidmunicate. Pam has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Speech Language Pathology from Loyola University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Pam provides evaluation and treatment for a variety of speech/language and communication disorders. She has experience working with children with hearing loss, autism, Down Syndrome, a cleft palate, developmental delays, Apraxia of speech, auditory processing disorders, fluency disorders, oral motor/feeding issues as well as children with augmentative/alternative needs.
Pam is a member of the American Speech and Language Hearing Association.