Nuturing social skills in autistic children

Social skills can be hard to understand for many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), with many parents find it difficult to teach every day social and communication skills.


Cosequently, social skills stories have become an excellent tool for teaching many essential and non-essential life-skills. Research suggests that parents feel that teaching a child with autism social and communication skills is a primary focus.


For students with autism “fitting in” to mainstream classrooms can be challenging! An autistic student displaying social skills deficits will probably find it hard in a mainstream classroom unless he/she is taught appropriate social and communication skills. Research suggests that successes in teaching an autistic student social skills can increase self-confidence and understanding as well as boost the autistic student’s attention span and general behaviour within the classroom, which can all help the student with autism reach his or her full potential.


We can conclude from researc and studies into Autism Spectrum Disorder  that nurturing social skills in autistic children is beneficial in helping the child to “fit in” socially and reducing anxiety and stress.


Originally social skills stories were developed to help with communication difficulties in children with ASD. However, today they are used more widely as a strategy in teaching autistic children social and communication skills thus addressing their social skills deficits.


A social skills story can act as a role model, showing and the skill or situation being addressed in smaller easier to understand pieces. This is a proven strategy in teaching autistic children. A social story is a short descriptive story describing using images and text a particular social skill being acted out (modelled).


The social skills story shows the skill from the child’s point of view in small easy to follow pieces. Using visual images the social skills story shows a step by step plan answering the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what and HOW) as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, much like reading a script of the skill, this is allowing the child with autism to rehearse the skill.


A social skills story can also be used to help with transitions, changes to routines and other less common situations. Using the same formula social skills stories will help parents and teachers nurturing social skills in autistic children effectively.


To learn more about how social stories help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to  learn social and communication skills visit: