Archive for the ‘teaching social skills to children with autism’ Category

Social story cards for teaching social skills to children with autism

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Typically children with autism have difficulties with social and communication skills this is due to the Triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.
The Triad of autistic impairments affect three main areas of development: Social skills, Communication skills and Imagination skills.

It is these deficits that make it difficult for a child on the spectrum to interact socially and can make the child on the spectrum appear rude even aloof at times.
Treatments for autism ARE put in place to HELP overcome social skills deficits. Probably the most significant of the various treatments for autism available ARE “Social Skills Stories”

Generally social skills stories are written for a specific task or skill and WILL detail that skill or task in specific terms giving focus to the social cues.

Much like a Role Model or Visual Plan of the skill a breakdown of the skill or task into smaller sections like this video example of one of our social stories:

The social skills story aims to answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as How and to give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness for most autistic people.

Social story cards for teaching social skills to children with autism ARE social stories made simpler.

Social story cards are simply a social story broken into sections, with each section then put onto a separate card the cards are then shown individually like turning the pages of a book.

Social story cards for teaching social skills to children with autism ARE easy to USE, and can be put in place in the same manner as a regular social story.

To learn more and see a picture example of social story cards visit: where you will find a section dedicated to this simpler version of the regular social story.

Social stories for autism

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Common to all individuals with autism are deficits in social skills. Teaching social skills to children with autism can quite often become a primary focus at school and in the home. Many parents and teachers report success in teaching social skills to children with autism can lead to an increase in the child’s self confidence.

Generally children with autism are visual learners, meaning they think in pictures and will gain more benefit from visual information rather than written, auditory or oral information.

Therefore visual strategies are believed to work best with ASD children. Social stories are used as visual strategies. A social skills story is used to show a child with autism how to perform or understand a certain skill or situation.

A social skills story will focus on a particular social situation or interaction and break it down into smaller easier to understand sections. The social skills story provides details and information that the child with autism can understand this is important because children with an ASD often find social situations confusing.

Social stories for autism answer the “wh” questions who, where, why, when and what as well as give the child with autism an insight into the thoughts feelings and psooible reactions they may expect from others.

The main goal of any social skills story should be to provide ASD children with a role model, a visual plan and framework which will help reduce anxieties and stress for the child with autism.

While social stories for autism are normally implemented to address a particular skill or situation, ASD children can also use social skills stories for autism to deal with other deficits in social skills such as hygiene issues, social awkwardness and communication difficulties.

Common to all individuals with autism is awkwardness with social interactions, such as respecting personal space, having conversations, asking questions etc. Social stories can be used to help deal with these issues.

Social stories should provide information about the feelings of others and the consequences of ignoring those feelings.

Normally written in first person text and using visual images social stories should be written from the child’s point of view with appropriate language. No two children with autism will ever be the same therefore when using social stories you will normally need to tweak or edit the social skills story to personalize it for your own child. We all use different terminology and adding your own personal terminology will help with the effectiveness of the story.

To learn more about implementing social stories and how you can download professional social skills stories today visit:


Teaching social skills to children with autism

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

For the majority of children with autism direct teaching of social skills is necessary. Unlike their typically developing peers children with autism do not naturally acquire social skills from people watching or the environment. For many autistic children the ability to understand and read subtle cues, facial expressions, verbal and nonverbal communication and people’s body language is missing, which makes interpreting meaning challenging.

Teaching social skills to children with autism can take many forms from PECS and visual flash cards to ABA and social skills stories.

For many parents of autistic children choosing a school is difficult. To attend mainstream education children with autism or asperger syndrome will need a certain amount of social skills. Inclusion in a mainstream school is often not dependent solely on the child’s IQ or intelligence. Many children with autism or asperger syndrome are capable of working at the required level, but are not being accepted into mainstream education due to behavioral issues or poorly developed social skills.

Teaching social skills to children with autism is not easy, for many autistic children understanding instruction is difficult. However there are certain treatments of autism which can help overcome this hurdle.

Generally children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they will comprehend information or instruction easier if it is given visually, for example images or pictures etc. rather than written or spoken instruction.

Therefore teaching social skills to children on the spectrum can be achieved far easier using visual tools and methods such as visual flash cards and social skills stories, both of which are visual and are proven successful methods.

A good social story will focus on a particular social situation or interaction. Some examples of social stories would be assembly, sharing, taking turns, not shouting out, recess etc. These are all good examples of social stories. The social story serves a number of purposes. The most important aspect being that the social story provides the child on the spectrum with a role model, something to follow visually.

Social stories address the “wh” question (who, where, why, when and what) as well as give an insight into the thinking, emotions and actions of others. It will also explain the actions and reactions expected of the child on the spectrum. Social stories are generally written following a specific pattern and normally by experts although some parents have learnt how to write social stories themselves.

Not all social skills stories are perfect. It may well be that a particular social story does not have exactly the desired effect or address all the necessary elements of a situation. Be prepared to occasionally rewrite a social story to make it more effective.

To find out more about social stories and how they can be implemented for teaching social skills to children with autism visit any of the following sites: