Review of Stories that Explain, by Lynn McCann
Social stories are by their nature, 'stories that explain'. Unfortunately, although written with best intentions, social stories are often not structured accurately and often contain inappropriate instructions of what to feel/say/do. So, I must admit I was a little apprehensive about reviewing Stories that Explain. BUT! I'm so glad I did because now I can confidently recommend this as a tool to others.
There is a right and wrong way to write a social story, and Lynn's book follows the correct format throughout. It's very well structured and very easy to read, but Stories that Explain is more than simply being a guide or handbook. It's written with so much respect for the children and young people who might benefit from the support described, and it really was a joy to read.
The book includes a disc, jam-packed with simple templates and designs which cover a huge range of situations. What I really liked, was that as you work your way through the book, readers are given the tools to personalise the stories which I firmly believe is the key to success when using any resource.
If I could change one thing, (and I'm being very picky here!) I'd change the description of the book from being 'Social stories for children with autism in primary school'. Because Lynn's advice and templates have the potential to help children and young people with such a wide range of differences/diagnoses, and potentially those within a wider age range too.
Lynn has changed my mind about promoting social stories and I'll definitely be recommending this fabulous resource!
About Lynn McCann
Lynn began working as a mainstream class teacher, she was an early years lecturer and a SENCO. She has had over 10 years of experience in autism education, outreach, and training in a specialist education setting. Lynn has had training and experience in autism theory and research, PECS, Sensory Integration, SCERTS, TEACCH, ASC and Puberty, Social Stories, Mental Health First Aid and Forest Schools. Now working independently, Lynn is heading a team of two specialist teachers, delivering the same high-quality advice and training.