Archive for the ‘social stories as a strategy’ Category

How to teach social skills to autistic children

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Social skills are learnt naturally through socialization, we watch people and learn through experience, our environment, peers and families.


The ability to learn social skills naturally is missing in autistic children and therefore they need to learn social skills directly through supports, like for example social skills stories.


Social skills stories show us how to teach social skills to autistic children, such as holding a conversation, understanding nick names, sharing, respecting personal space, taking turns and so on.

Social stories teach the autistic person both verbal and nonverbal communication skills and behaviours which will help them act appropriately in social situations. For example social skills stories teach social skills to individuals on the spectrum such as waving goodbye, saying hello, lining up, in school assembly, whilst out shopping and so on.

Individuals on the spectrum do not read subtle cues contained in social interactions, such as how to tell when someone wants to change the topic of conversation or shift to another activity.

By teaching the autistic person to read social cues you will provide them with the knowledge to determine how to act in various situations or why to perform certain skills such as good hygiene habits or visiting the dentist.

Consequently, many parents looking at methods on how to teach social skills to autistic children turn to autistic supports such as social stories as a means of not only teaching social skills but as a means of communicating also.

Social stories answer the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into verbal and nonverbal communication, plus an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others.

Using social stories as a strategy to teach an autistic child social and communication skills is beneficial. Research shows social stories as a strategy improves positive behaviours and reduces negative behaviours and anxiety.

To learn more about social stories as a strategy visit: and learn how to teach social skills to autistic children using these autistic supports. Easy to use and with no need for any kind of training to use social stories are printable, editable and can be personalized for convenience and ease of use.

Alternativelly social stories can be found at any of the following sites:

Treatment for autism

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder, and as yet there is still no known cure for autism, however there are many treatments.


Some help manage the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder, while others address the social, behavioural and communication difficulties associated with this pervasive developmental disorder. Of all the available autism treatments any claiming to be a cure for autism is simply not so.


There are many different theories surrounding the “cause of autism” and as yet no one theory has proven conclusive, research into the cause of autism and the symptoms of autism is still on-going.


There are many different types of therapies and autism treatments developed specifically to alleviate symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders.


A diagnosis of autism is not the end of the world, with the available therapies and treatment for autism it is expected that children with autism have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential.


Probably one of the most significant treatment for autism is social stories, a social story will address communication difficulties help build social skills, interaction and imagination skills as well as encourage appropriate behaviours.


We all need a certain amount of social and communication skills to be able to function daily. With autism the ability to learn social and communication skills is missing, however using a treatment for autism like social stories this lack of naturally learnt skills and behaviours can be addressed successfully.

Typically developing children learn through the environment and their family and peers, the child with ASD wont, therefore direct teaching is necessary.  Using social stories as a strategy for improving and teaching social skills to your child with ASD is simple, no qualifications or formal training is needed, social stories are simple to use and very effective.


The symptoms of autism vary between individuals, however all autistic’s tend to be visual thinkers and learners. Therefore social stories were developed to be visual, much like a visual framework of the skill or behaviour being addressed.


For many parents probably the most significant difficulty they struggle with is their child’s communication difficulties, for most children with autism language is confusing and often they do not understand what is expected of them. Much like if you were dropped in a foreign country, chances are you would not understand what people were saying, however if they showed you a picture chances are you would catch on pretty fast. This is the same with autism visual images and pictures trigger understanding much quicker that the spoken or written word.



For example a parent struggling to make their child understand may talk more trying to explain, this is not going to work with a child with ASD, the answer is to talk less and use visual cues prompts. For example show them a picture of the toilet, dinner etc rather than speak they will understand a lot quicker and with less stress for the both of you.


Using social stories as a strategy uses this knowledge; a social story is a visual representation with minimal text, always in first person language that describes the skill or behaviour from the point of view of the autistic individual.


The social story breaks the situation down into small pieces and each piece of the skill for example going to recess is represented by an image and text describing the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) as well as what the child with ASD may expect from others and what they will expect back from them. This will help the autistic individual feel more comfortable and in control which will reduce anxieties and stress.


To learn more about this treatment for autism and how using social stories as a strategy can help your child with ASD visit any of the following sites:

Strategies for festive fun for children with autism

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

The festive season need not be stress filled and full of anxieties for both you and your autistic child.

Following some simple strategies can help alleviate some of the pressures and confusions an autistic child feels this time of year. Using social stories as a strategy can greatly improve Christmas for an autistic child.

Probably one of the major issues related to Christmas for an autistic child is the confusion and changes to routine. All autistic people like routine and things to remain the same, which of cause is impossible in the festive season.

Consequently stress and anxieties are displayed which can lead to autistic behaviors such as aggression or meltdowns. To avoid or limit autistic behaviors many parents of children with autism implement specifically written social stories aimed at helping the child with autism cope with changes to routines and other social and communication skills that need altering or learning or re-enforcing this time of year.

For example putting up a Christmas tree, a child with autism spectrum disorder lives in a very literal world and can be confused as to why a tree is decorated and placed in the house! A simple social story can help explain why this happens and help the child with autism spectrum disorder participate in the decorating of the tree.


Research suggests using social stories as strategies for festive fun for children with autism can help encourage positive behaviors, which will help the entire family enjoy the festive season more.

Mainly written by experts social stories are visually rich with appropriate text following a specific formula, explaining in a step by step plan how to cope with or master a skill the autistic child is struggling with. A simple social story can help reduce negative behavior and alleviate stress.


To download social stories as strategies for festive fun for children with autism visit: