AppStore User Rating:
Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs offers one free story and numerous others that can be purchased to help children learn to navigate social hurdles. Adults can easily create personalized stories to share, as well.
- Easily create individualized, personalized stories
- Incorporate text, video and audio recordings on each page
- Use the system to create calendars, instructions, and more
- Use app offline if desired
- Share stories with other users
This quality app offers lots of features to help you create your own social stories for use with students, including recording features and the ability to incorporate photos and text onto each page. It is easy to use and intuitive. There are also over 20 pre-made stories available for purchase individually or as a bundle, as well as one free story about caring for an electronic device. One concern is that the app does not seem as responsive as it might be. It is sometimes difficult to get screens to change, and one screen in the “Settings” section does not seem to scroll at all, though there is obviously content below the fold.
Social stories are tools designed to help individuals with intellectual, communication, or emotional disabilities better understand the complexities of interactions with others and with their environment. The theory is that if students can see how others handle similar situations, they can model this behavior and apply it in their own lives. The stories essentially provide a “role-playing” experience that can really help some learners better interact with their world. This app offers a free story and the capability to create your own social stories customized for your learner. Paid upgrades allow users to access more ready-made content, save more than two stories, print stories, and more.
The story-creation section is very easy to use and would be very helpful to anyone wishing to create content such as this. The on-screen prompts are very clear, and it is easy to upload your content (pictures, videos, audio files and so forth). There aren’t any tools to help you plan out your story, and that would be a nice addition.
There is one free ready-made story in Social Stories Creator and Library. It is about taking care of an electronic device, which is an excellent choice of topics for the intended population. The graphics in the story are inclusive-the main character is colorful and relatively non-descript, and the other illustrations are clear and concrete. The language, however, is relatively complex for many of the students who may be using this app. The author uses a number of complex sentences. For example, one page says, “I really like using my device, so I need to make sure that I take good care of it.” This type of construction may make the language inaccessible for students with language or processing issues, for those with autism, or those with cognitive impairments.
Most students will find this app to be enjoyable to use. While it’s not really intended to provide recreational reading, the characters are personable and friendly-looking. Homemade stories will have the added bonus of being recorded in a familiar voice and of showing familiar people and places in the pages.
The basic app is free, and it will help users decide if it is worth the investment. Free users will be able to create and save two of their own stories, and they will be able to view the free story as well as preview the paid content to decide which stories will be most helpful to them. There are several options for purchasing the premium content, ranging from buying individual stories for between ninety-nine cents and two-ninety-nine. Users can also choose to purchase the entire set of stories for $19.99. It is possible to upgrade the the app to one of two levels. The Full upgrade increases the number of stories that can be saved from 2 to 6 for $6.99. The Pro upgrade removes the limit to the number of saved stories and unlocks the ability to print for $9.99. The Pro upgrade can be combined with access to all stories for $24.99.
This app is child-friendly. There is a protected parents’ area that has access to the in-app purchases, contact email and ratings section, but the protection is a relatively simple addition problem, which some young users will find ways to circumvent.
- Protected parent area (contains extra links, IAP, and email)
- NO social media
- NO 3rd party ads
- YES in-app purchase (in protected area)
- YES email access (in protected area)
Social Stories Creator and Library for Preschool, Autism and Special Needs is a great tool for designing your own social stories for learners of any age group, ability level, or condition.