Posts Tagged ‘using social skills stories as a strategy’

Social skills stories as a strategy to teach communication skills

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

What are Social Skills Stories?

Social skills stories are written following a set formula to describe a situation or skill by using appropriate social cues. The social skills story should describe what happens in a specific social situation in a structured and consistent manner.

The social skills story should be visual as most autistic are visual thinkers and learners and will respond better to visual information and instruction.

Therefore the social skills story should give information through images and text rather than auditory or just plain written text. Each story should provide accurate information about what is happening in a specific social situation.

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 is used as a means of explaining visually how to behave in a socially acceptable way.

Using social skills stories as a strategy to teach communication skills

The goal of any social skills story should be:

  • To provide the person with social cues for situations or skills.
  • To help the person rehearse a situation, and to respond appropriately
  • To help prepare 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 to teach communication skills is beneficial.

Social skills stories address communication difficulties effectively by providing a visual framework to help the autistic person feel more comfortable with the situation allowing them 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 because they do not understand that others might have a different opinion to them, they often fail to understand verbal and nonverbal communications such as wit and humour, or that others may want to do something different to what they want to do.

Consequently communication difficulties are common and social situations can become unpredictable and confusing. Social skills stories help individuals with autism read situations and skills better and therefore react and act appropriately.

To learn more about what are social skills stories and how they can help your child visit: