YouTube and Autism: Finding Social Stories

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This last week my wife found a new use for our Apple TV.  Instead of listening to music or watching videos, she found that she could use YouTube.  In the past she hasn't been that keen on using YouTube, because she hasn't seen the use of it.  To tell you the truth, neither have I, beyond getting demonstrations on steampunk tech and other random videos.  But this last week she found out that several people have recorded their experiences on various Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disneyland Paris rides, and posted them.  This filled at least four evening's full of entertainment. 

But we were not watching these rides just for the sake of watching the rides, but rather we were watching them because we wanted to help our son who is Autistic prepare for his trip to Disneyland in the Fall.  You see, with an autistic child it's best if one can provide social stories, or stories that outline important steps in life.  In this case, we were showing the steps and procedures one takes when getting on a ride.  There is the line, and things to see, then taking a ticket, showing this ticket while getting on the ride, and the parts of the ride.  At this point he is familiar with the steps, and will be able to follow them when he gets on the ride himself. 

And while we were going through these steps, I started thinking about other experiences in life.  Unlike produced material, YouTube is essentially a respository of social stories in the form of home movies.  Granted, just like anything else in the world, one needs to be careful which videos are taken as instructional for social interaction, but with some careful screening by parents, YouTube can be a very useful tool for autistic children. 

My recommendation would be to try doing a search for Social Stories on YouTube, and see what comes up.  You may be surprised.  ^_^