Music, Autism and Social Skills

Hey, everyone! Welcome back to The Rhythm Tree. My name is Ryan Judd. I am a board certified music therapist here to give you some more great ideas on how to use music to help children with special needs. So, today I am going to show you a social story that I created for one of my clients. Social stories are great for kids with Autism, Williams Syndrome and so many other special needs. When you want to teach a child social skills, a social story should definitely be a part of your strategy. Social stories are great but what I do is take it to the next level by adding music and then I make it even more captivating and engaging by using an iPad app, a free one, called Story Creator where you can put in pictures, audio, video… It’s really cool. You will see what I mean in a second.

This social story was to help one of my clients with learning how to interact and talk with friends and peers. A couple of the words and jargon that I use in this social story are some of the concept he’s working on at school which is ‘talk time’, which basically means, you know, give your friends a chance to talk to you – don’t just dominate the conversation by talking the whole time. I’m really about listening and asking questions as well as talking. ‘Bubble space’ – your personal space and not getting too close to someone’s face, not touching people in inappropriate ways when they don’t want to be touched… Things like that. It’s a concept of ‘bubble space’ – whole body listening. Yes, we’re listening with our ears but we’re also listening with our eyes. We want to look at the person we’re talking to and also have our body situated in front of them. You know, we’re not squirming around and all that.

Those are a couple of the concepts I incorporated into this social story.

I hope you like it. Please sign up for my newsletter if you haven’t yet – I’ve got a link right below. Come check out my website at And, hey, if you’re on YouTube checking this out, please give me a thumbs up and leave a comment. I love reading your comments. It keeps me going, it keeps me inspired to keep going with this labor of love video blog that I have going on here.

Take care and I’ll see you next time.
Thank you!

“When I’m at school, I will see my friends and I will want to talk to them.
It might be their turn, it might be mine, everyone gets talk time.
When we talk, we have bubble space.
We don’t get too close to each other’s face.
I’ll try to listen with my eyes and my ears.
I’ll try to use my whole body to listen to my peers.”

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