Jump to content


Photo

Social Stories On Anxiety


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 tracky2

tracky2

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 29 January 2017 - 10:44 PM

Since our first complete school refusal from L the other day due to heightened anxiety I have been looking at ways of helping him manage.  i really hope this is not the first of many.  i have wrote a letter to school outlining why he was off 'heightened anxiety' really don't know if i'll get a response.... Anyway.

 

One thing that has been suggested to me has been social stories.

 

I am aware of these through my work but was wondering if anybody has a pre written one regarding explaining anxiety and how it feels.  I am then hoping to follow that  up with a social story on coping strategies when he feels anxiety rising. i do not have access to story maker or such.  Is there any free apps or other useful ways to collate one, I am aware of the basic principles.

 

L I have realised will disagree that he is anxious or worried whenever he starts feeling these symptoms.  When he vomited (sorry TMI) which is very common for L and sometimes is the only end result when anxiety grips him,  he said the next day it must've been a bug,  we knew it wasn't.  

 

This made me wonder if he actually isn't understanding and making the connection off the physical symptoms and what is the cause of them.

 

We have basic Lego man feeling charts but he doesn't use it? ie various visual emotions ie frustrations, anger, sad, worried etc

 

 



#2 bluewater

bluewater

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Scotland
  • Interests:Outdoor activities

Posted 30 January 2017 - 05:16 PM

Hi Tracky,

 

Hopefully someone will come along with experience of these. Ds1 just hated anything that he suspected was supposed to help him - including social stories. He could have benefitted from them, though.



#3 tracky2

tracky2

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 30 January 2017 - 10:01 PM

Hi it's just something to try at this point bluewater. I suspect L might be the same. He's never really engaged in visual support before, we have a feeling Lego man set up but he never looks at it, he's also got a worry bag that he helped set up that he never looks at either.

Anxietys a horrible debilitating thing I just want to find something that helps him understand how he's feeling x

#4 apricot

apricot

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 478 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cambridge
  • Interests:Walking our labrador, Ben.

Posted 31 January 2017 - 01:47 PM

DS is 16 and we have tried all sorts of things to help with anxiety, mostly without success.
The one thing that helped and continues to help is physical activity. So not more stressful thinking, but a fun distraction which generates endorphins. This was the OT's useful suggestion. Well worth getting some OT input if you can. 

When younger DS would have a circuit worked out so I'd notice him getting stressed and we'd do 10 turns round the garden and some ball catching to calm him down. And then primary school built movement breaks and circuits into his class, so he'd run round the playground with the TA and rejoin the class when he felt better. 

Could you try getting him involved in something like yoga / karate / martial arts / swimming ?



#5 mad cat lady

mad cat lady

    How many posts? Get a life!

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,461 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:06 PM

Like Apricot we did not have any success with social stories which were tried in various forms. J would give all the correct responses when going through the stories but was unable to transfer the knowledge to real life.
J has been described as highly anxious in every placement and physical activity does help, unfortunately if his anxiety reaches extremely high levels he is impossible to reach.

#6 tracky2

tracky2

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 31 January 2017 - 09:59 PM

Thanks for the responses, it sounds like a good idea, I struggle with Logan engaging in physical activity.

 

When he was younger he would run laps around house voluntary, not so much now lol.

 

He does participate in a club called 'enjoy a ball' which is very good for all aspects off his development called enjoy a ball where they incorporate team social skills as well as learning the skills required for all ball sports, the teacher is great with Logan, I'm hoping hell keep him on as the class only goes up to 9 but we've still got another few months before we have to think about that.

 

Distraction works but its night time that's the biggest problem, when its settle down time and there is nothing else for him to focus on that's when it starts.  a couple of times hes even woken from sleep to throw up .... and that's when I've thought I have calmed him down enough to relax and fall asleep.  Sometimes when he's in his grip of anxiety that is the only end result for him because the feeling in his stomach is too much.

 

Logan really struggles to switch off at night.

 

Food for thought though thanks



#7 apricot

apricot

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 478 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Cambridge
  • Interests:Walking our labrador, Ben.

Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:39 PM

At night time DS still has a subtle colour changing night light, a fan producing soothing background noise and a heavy dog shaped beanbag which sits on his chest as the weight helps. We tried a weighted blanket but the bean bag works better. 



#8 tracky2

tracky2

    Old as the hills

  • ASDf Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 164 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:42 PM

L has his ghost night light, fan, music his cuddlies, all three need to be present for him too settle Aswell as his routine watch TV, colouring in then 5 mins cuddle but on high anxiety nights his mind doesn't stop his obsessions heightens too and he goes in to overdrive with talking either Lego or Pokemon, bless he doesn't even notice me yawning my head off next too him.

Never thought about weighted blanket etc always assumed due to his heat sensitivity he wouldn't tolerate something like that.

Have tried breathing exercises with him but this only helps before the anxiety has spiked.

And most of the time I have missed the triggers as the incident producing the anxiety has passed. He seems to have delayed processing at times and also he hides his symptoms to carry on until his t gets too much for him.p and he can't.

Would you say anxiety coexists with Asd or can it be in addition too?

#9 Kadenza

Kadenza

    Under the table

  • The Moderators
  • 4,465 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Oh, I don't know. Somewhere around and about.

Posted 01 February 2017 - 12:48 AM

As you know, my DD has PDA.  Her difficulties are entirely driven by anxiety, be it over something big, like expectations at school, or something we might perceive as small or insignificant like which soup to choose for lunch. Because of this, working out specific triggers can be so hard.  

Now she is older (13 - when did that happen), she is more aware of her difficulties - not happy or accepting of them, though - and more open to strategies etc, providing they retain her privacy.  So telling people she has PDA is a no-no in her book, but saying she's having a bad day is fine, "because everyone has bad days, so it's normal".  

We have found that overtime it has really helped that we have always acknowledged her feelings, so that she know's it's absolutely fine, completely acceptable to feel the way she does.  What we are working on now is that the important thing is how she responds to her feelings. So feeling angry is perfectly acceptable, whether we would have got angry in the same situation or not.  Lashing out because of that anger is not.  Finding a way to express the anger without hurting others is the key.  We're getting there.  Slowly.

You mentioned intolerance to heat.  We have that too.  Boo simply doesn't get cold!  In order to give her a snuggly feeling at bedtime, without her getting too warm, I bought a large fleece throw, and sewed it in to a sleeping bag.  (Actually I made three, so that DH and I had sleeping bag liners as I do feel the cold & they are very useful inside a sleeping bag when camping!)  It holds her quite closely, so gives her some sensory feedback and helps her feel calm and comforted without making her too warm.  Worth a try?

Regarding the social stories, as L doesn't acknowledge his anxiety, you could phrase them accordingly.  Talk about things that can make us ill.  E.g.  "Sometimes I get sick.  There are lots of things that can make us sick.  I may have a bug, I may have eaten too much, or I may be anxious about something.  Things I can do to help me to feel better include...." etc  Then you can guide it to include using fiddle toys, breathing exercises etc, without putting pressure on him to admit the anxiety.  One of the issues with PDA is that even if he does know that he is anxious, admitting it may feel like giving up control, which will make it worse, so leaving the options open can really help.
 






1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users