Methods for teaching social skills to a child on the spectrum

There are various methods for teaching social skills to a child on the spectrum. Probably the most significant of these autism treatments is social stories.


Social skills stories ARE used as a role model which shows an autistic child a step by step plan, giving visual prompts WHICH explain what happens in a given situation: For example the autism social story shows the autistic child:

  • A social story shows what the situations is or where the place is
  • A social story shows who the people are
  • A social story shows what happens, the event, skill or behaviour being mastered
  • A social story shows what the people say/do, what they are thinking/feeling and why
  • A social story shows what the child is expected to say/do in this situation. What others will expect.
  • A social story answers the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW”

What does a social skills story look like?

An autism social story is short with visual images rather like a comic strip. Children with autism tend to be visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures rather like a film script.

Autism social stories use this concept and are generally visually rich with images and or pictures the child on the spectrum will understand.

Teachers of autistic students use autism social skills stories in and around school to help their autistic student cope with and understand what is expected of them and what they can expect at school; for example school rules, assembly, PE lessons, recess and so on.

Many parents of autistic kids use autism social stories as methods for teaching social skills to a child on the spectrum LIKE: hygiene, visiting a dentist, hairdresser a meal out, MAKING FRIENDS, respecting personal space, asking questions and so on; in-fact almost all difficult or confusing skills or situations can be eased using social stories.

Unlike typically developing children a child with autism will not pick up social cues; read facial expression or body language and can be confused by social etiquette and rules, social stories ARE excellent methods which can help OVERCOME these issues by showing and explaining in a step by step plan the child with autism can follow and understand.

This will help avoid social mistakes and blunders and cut down on negative behaviours, stress and meltdowns.

Social skills stories used as methods for teaching social skills to a child on the spectrum can be downloaded directly from sites such as:

Other sites offering an array of various social stories can be found at:

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