Social Stories - Home Page
What are social stories?
Social stories are tools used for teaching social skills to children with autism or other disabilities feel more at ease in a new, difficult, or confusing situation. A social story provides accurate information about a situation while attention is given to a few main points: the expected behaviors of the individual, the reactions the individual may experience, important social cues and possible coping mechanisms. The goal of the story is to increase the individual's understanding of, make him more comfortable in, and possibly suggest some appropriate responses for the situation in question.
Social stories are usually short, straightforward descriptions of any given social situation. The information is presented in a structured and consistent, age appropriate manner.
Example of a Social Story:
Sometimes at home, we have to take a bath.
We take a bath to get clean.
Sometimes I may not want to take a bath, but if I don't, others will not want to be near me.
It is okay to not want to take a bath, but it is important to try take one and get clean. Not taking a bath could cause me to have an unpleasant odor.
I will try my best to take a bath everyday.
Benefits of Social Stories
One benefit to social stories is that they address the "theory of mind," or, taking on the perspective of others thoughts, emotions, and behaviors of others. Children with autism and other disabilities often have difficulty taking on another's perspective. Thus, social stories, help the individual better predict the actions and assumptions of others.
Another benefit is that Social stories can also help replace inappropriate behaviors, with more, socially accepting ones. For example, if the individual bangs his hand on a surface to gain the attention of a caregiver or teacher, then a Social Story of describing more appropriate ways to gain positive attention may be helpful in expanding the individual's options.
Children with autism and other disabilities are often weak with speech and observations, and are visual learners. Social Stories give these individuals the information needed through text supported by visual supports (pictures). Lastly, the Social Story gives the individual to process and practice the skills before the next social situation arises, thus lessening anxiety.