Archive for the ‘young people with autism’ Category

Encourage good hygiene in autism

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Learning self-help skills such as good eating habits, dressing, toileting, and personal hygiene can be challenging for young people with autism spectrum disorder.

Social skills stories can be used effectively to help explain good hygiene habits and routines in autism. Social skills stories are developed to help individuals with autism understand how others perceive their appearance and the social implications of neglecting personal hygiene.

By using visual images and first person text in a step-by-step framework or plan the social story can explain exactly what individuals with autism need to remember to ensure good hygiene.


Teaching personal hygiene to young people with autism spectrum disorder can be problematic due to social skills deficits. Individuals with ASD may not understand the need to develop good hygiene habits.


Social skills deficits are common to autism and affect the way an individual processes information, thinks, acts and reacts to situations , skills and behaviours the rest of us take for granted or as “normal”

Social stories encourage good hygiene in autism by answering the important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as giving an insight into the thoughts feelings and emotions of others.

Individuals with ASD are generally visual thinkers and learners therefore visual strategies such as social stories are beneficial. The social story should be editable, easy to personalize and print and be convenient to use.

Personal hygiene skills such as tooth brushing, showering and menstruation can be addressed using appropriate social stories for autism hygiene habits.

To learn more about how social stories for autism hygiene habits can be implemented to help ASD individuals with personal hygiene skills and routines visit sites such as:

Social stories short pieces of text, visual strategies which show ASD individuals how to cope with situations, skills and behaviours that they struggle to understand or deal with.

Social stories for autism hygiene habits can be downloaded from

Other social stories can be downloaded from

Improving social skills in children with autism

Monday, March 29th, 2010

One of the significant difficulties for children with autism is their lack of social skills. Treatments available that help with improving social skills in children with autism include strategies such as social stories.

Social skills deficits are common in children on the spectrum, being able to read another person’s body language, tone of voice or facial expression is not a naturally learnt skill for those with autism, these skills need direct teaching.

This lack of social knowledge can lead to social blunders for even the highest functioning children on the spectrum. Without even knowing why, the child with autism can cause upset, ask inappropriate questions, act oddly and generally leave themselves open to taunts and teasing.

Teaching a child with autism how to improve their social skills especially if they are being schooled in mainstream education is almost certainly a necessity.

For many parents with an autistic child improving their child’s social skills is paramount and for this reason many parents with an autistic child turn to therapies and treatments that are readily available such as social stories. Also used in schools, colleges and the community social stories have evolved into one of the major tools in helping young people with autism improve their social and communication skills effectively.

The social story aims to improve social and communication skills in young people with autism, by using visual images in the form of a short story.  Much like a comic strip conversation, that helps the young person with autism interpret the situation or skill, in a manner that they can understand.

A social story follows a specific style or format, a visual framework. That describes the skill or situation in terms of the relevant social cues, the key points, the perspective of others and will suggest some possible responses and possible responses that others may expect from the young person with autism.

The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what) helping to make the child with autism more comfortable with and in the situation.

The social story breaks down the skill or situation into small bite sized chinks with relevant visual images giving the child on the spectrum the relative information they need to address the skill or situation in a positive manner. By improving social skills in children with autism, social stories help address the child’s social skills deficits helping the “fit in” with their peers, relieving some confusion, anxieties and stress.

To learn more about social stories and download appropriate social stories for children on the spectrum visit:

Alternatively other sites offering social stories for children on the spectrum can be found at: