Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs App Poster Image
Create social stories, help kids with real-life situations.

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Kids say

age 18+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn skills for navigating a variety of social situations such as greeting others, making conversation, or going shopping. Creating and reading social stories can help kids learn how to handle social situations, understand and manage emotions, or decode social cues. For example, the app can be used to outline what to expect when experiencing new situations, such as going to the dentist or getting a haircut. It is also a great tool for creating visual schedules that can help with transitions and completion of tasks throughout the day. With Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs, kids can create specific stories for individual situations and create a library that can be used and adjusted as they grow.

Ease of Play

No directions provided; navigating through the stories can be confusing at first. Creating stories is fairly intuitive once you get started.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

The app is free, but many levels of in-app purchases, including buying the Pro version for more story-creating capability, buying single premade stories, and buying the whole package.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs gives parents an opportunity to create two social stories for free. "Social stories," originally developed by Carol Gray, director of the Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding, are short vignettes with calm, encouraging information and direction, created by a parent, teacher, or caregiver to help a child with a skill, concept, or situation that involves an emotional or social component. The free version also includes one premade story, and icons for more than 20 more are available through in-app purchases. Different levels of in-app purchases can unlock single stories or story packages and can allow users to save more than two of their own stories. Creating stories requires access to the microphone and camera roll, and kids can share stories with other app users. To find out more about the types of information collected and shared, read the app's privacy policy.

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What's it about?

SOCIAL STORIES CREATOR AND LIBRARY FOR PRESCHOOL, AUTISM AND SPECIAL NEEDS is a free app that allows you to create two social stories using photos, audio, and text. Users can share their stories with others who have the same app through a unique code. The free version also comes with one premade social story, as well as teasers for more than 20 more on topics from making conversation to using and saving money. Multiple levels of in-app purchases can increase the number of stories users can create and save and/or unlock premade stories.

Is it any good?

Premade social stories and an easy platform for creating your own stories make working with social stories relatively easy -- but full use comes at a price. The free version provides a nice, straightforward opportunity to read one social story and create two. The free app has good potential but can be frustrating because much of the content is visible yet unavailable. Unfortunately, information about what's included in the free version and what the purchases options are aren't very transparent. Similarly, neither version has much how-to support: There are no directions or suggestions about making your own stories and few directions to help with navigation or options for easy movement within the app. Parents may want to experiment with the free content and determine whether it's worth the full price.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about each social story and kids' creations. Which types of situations are trickiest for your kid? Why?

  • Create social stories together that address themes that are particularly difficult for your kid. Actively involve your kids in brainstorming appropriate solutions or choices to make in situations they find difficult, and have fun making a story that represents those situations.

App details

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For kids who love practicing social skills

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