Cali’s Bedtime Book


About six months ago, Cali was having a VERY difficult time staying in her bed when going to sleep at night. No matter how many times I told her to stay in bed, she wouldn’t stay. No matter how many times I promised rewards for staying in bed, she didn’t care. No matter how many times I threatened to take away a toy or other privilege, she would still get out of bed. It wasn’t until I went away for a girls’ trip and had a sitter watching the girls, that Cali decided to stay in bed. I could’ve been one to get a bit jealous at my sitter for doing what I obviously could not, but no way!!! I was just ecstatic to come back to my almost four year staying in her bed and going to sleep at a decent time. Want to know how she did it??


A social story. Ever heard of one? Here is an explanation of what they entail:


A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. The goal of a Social Story™ is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience. Half of all Social Stories™ developed should affirm something that an individual does well. Although the goal of a Story™ should never be to change the individual’s behavior, that individual’s improved understanding of events and expectations may lead to more effective responses.

Although Social Stories™ were first developed for use with children with ASD, the approach has also been successful with children, adolescents, and adults with ASD and other social and communication delays and differences, as well as individuals developing normally.


Jenny, the sitter, decided to take this idea of social stories to help Cali understand she must stay in her bed at night. Understand that bedtime meant closing your eyes and falling asleep, not tearing the room apart and trying on every princess dress she owns! The book was titled, Cali’s Bedtime Book. Jenny also made a sticker chart to go along with the book. Each night she stayed in her bed, she was given a sticker the following morning and a small piece of candy. She also took her to the store to pick out a small, cheap toy as motivation to complete the chart. Just like most sticker charts…when she completely filled the chart, she was able to get the toy. Jenny was smart to put the toy where Cali could see it each day, but far enough up so that she could not reach the toy. Picking out the toy was great motivation and placing the toy out of reach created an extra level of motivation.


Cali wasn’t successful every night, but over a week’s time, the idea of staying in her bed “all night” stuck with her. You can imagine how surprised and excited I was to learn about this new development. I was even more excited to learn about these social stories. I figured if the idea of staying in your bed all night translated so well to Cali in a story form, many many more ideas could be explained in a social story format.


Anything from:

- Hugging strangers

- Traveling to visit Grandma B

- Playing with friends

- The list could go on-and-on


I would suggest getting this book:


   The New Social Story Book


This book gives numerous social stories to help you teach everyday social skills and concept building to your child.


Here is a look into Cali’s Bedtime Story…


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  1. I am taking this idea straight to Max! He is the worst at staying in bed. Once of week posts from you would be appreciated! My to-do list is growing WAY too long from all the new ideas from you! ;) Love your blog and all it offers and I have honestly learned so much and have been inspired to be a more proactive mom, thanks to you! You are great Chels!

  2. Pingback: talking with friends: a social story | Where Did the bird go

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