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Hi Iliriana,

I just wanted to thank you again for the feedback you gave me and for directing me to the toolkits you suggested. This whole process has been really inspiring.

Best,

Erin

Thank you for your feedback, Molly! I am hoping that this app will help spread awareness about social stories and make them more accessible, since they really are such a powerful tool.

Hi Iliriana,

Thank you for your thoughtful response to my submission. I think you raise an important point about which events are going to be targeted with Little Life Stories. As I mentioned, I have used these social stories in my toddler classrooms for many years to address all kinds of life events and behaviors. One of the most meaningful stories I have written was for a toddler whose mother was in the hospital with cancer. I prepared the toddler for what the experience of going to the hospital to visit her very ill mother was going to be like. The family found it helpful and months later, the dying mother, her brother, and I worked together to draft a story for her daughter about her death. As a teacher, this story offered an entryway to an important conversation about a painful subject and it allowed me to collaborate with the family to support their child during a traumatic and intensely personal experience. For the family, it offered them a chance to think through their beliefs about death and how they wanted to share them with their child. When discussing this book, the family was able to communicate their beliefs, fears, etc. and I was able to share my perspective, with a child development lens. Together, we were able to support their child in a unified, thoughtful way. I truly believe that this type of intentional, immediate support for adverse life experiences can help mitigate the impact of trauma. This is why I want to create Little Life Stories. Social stories are a very valuable tool for families and for professionals who work with young children. I want to spread the word about their impact, train more people how to use them, make them more accessible to children who could use them most, and make them easy to use, so that they are used more often.

I agree that some adverse events may need to be sequential or have multiple stories written to address them comprehensively over time. I do this in my classroom and hope to make this possible in the app, as well. I believe this is where the professional training component of Little Life Stories will be useful and set this app apart from others on the market; professionals who interact with young children in a variety of settings will have the opportunity to use the app to create their own developmentally appropriate stories for individual children's situations. I also hope to have a team of early childhood professionals who can offer advice to users as they draft supportive social stories for unique situations.

In addition to these unique social stories, that may require more knowledge of the individual child's situation and may be more likely to need several stories in a series; I plan to have some basic, easily customizable stories, accessible to families and professionals, addressing events that impact many young children. These might include: potty training books (i.e. starting to wear underwear, holding bowl movements), separation anxiety related books (i.e. staying with a baby sitter, starting a new school, etc), a parent, family member, or child's illness or injury (more short term things, like surgery, a cast, etc), the death of a pet, difficult behaviors (i.e. hitting, scratching, bitting), giving up a pacifier, fears, etc.

I really appreciate the links and I look forward to exploring them soon!

Best,

Erin