What are Social Skills Stories?
Social skills stories are designed and written following a set pattern of sentence types and visual images to describe a situation or skill using appropriate social cues.
A social skills story should describe what happens in a specific social situation in a structured and consistent manner.
Generally autistic individuals are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Consequently, an appropriate social skills story should be visual, the vast majority of autistic individuals respond better to visual information and instruction.
Social skills stories are visual strategies using images and appropriate first person text. Each social skills story should be written from the ASD individual’s point of view.
The social story answers the “wh” questions (who, why, where. when and what) as well as giving an insight into the emotions and thoughts of others. The social story acts like a role model showing autistic individuals visually how to behave in a socially acceptable way.
Using social skills stories as a strategy for teaching social and communication skills
The goal of any social skills story should be:
- To provide ASD individual’s with social cues for situations or skills.
- To help the autistic person rehearse a situation, and to respond appropriately
- To help prepare the autistic person for routine changes or new experiences.
- To reduce negative behaviour.
- To help reduce social blunders caused through lack of social understanding.
- To help address any communication difficulties
Therefore using social skills stories as a strategy for teaching social and communication skills is beneficial.
Social skills stories are visual strategies that address communication difficulties and provide a visual framework or plan which reduces stress and anxiety as well as giving the ASD individual a chance to rehearse appropriate responses.
Social skills stories work because
They address the “theory of mind”. Many individuals with autism do not act appropriately in social situations, simply because they do not understand that others might have a different opinion to them.
Many individuals with autism fail to understand verbal and nonverbal communications such as wit and humour, or that others may have different opinions, wants and needs to them.
Consequently communication difficulties are common for an ASD individual and social situations can become unpredictable and confusing.
Social skills stories help people with autism read situations and skills better and therefore react and act appropriately.
To learn more about what are social skills stories? And how people with autism can benefit from using these visual strategies to help them address communication difficulties as well as social skills and behaviours visit: