Posts Tagged ‘Writing social stories for children with autism’

Writing Social Stories for children with autism

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

What are social stories?


Social stories are short descriptive stories which explain a skill or situation in terms of relative social cues, perspectives and common responses in a defined manner, using pictures or images and first person text, much like a comic script.


The goal of a Social Story is to present accurate information in a consistent and reassuring manner that children with autism can easily understand.


Social Stories were first developed around twenty years ago to help with communication difficulties in children with an ASD. Today, Social Stories are not only ideal for children with an ASD but are also a positive approach for adolescents and young people with autism and related communication disorders.


For children with an ASD communication both verbal and non verbal is an area of marked weakness, this is mainly due to social skills deficits which are common to all individuals with autism.


What are social skills deficits?


Social skills deficits are sometimes referred to as the triad of autistic impairments:

Social skills deficits

Communication deficits

Imagination deficits


These deficits are always present in individuals with autism to varying degrees, as with typically developing children no two ASD children are ever the same and development will vary.


Social Stories are used to focus on a specific skill or situation the child on the spectrum is struggling with for example: changes to routines, for most ASD children any changes to routines no matter how small can be a real problem, using a social story to explain the upcoming change can help reassure and prevent anxiety and stress.


Writing social stories for children with autism is an effective way of dealing with issues. A social story should contain Descriptive, Perspective, Directive and control sentences always be from the child’s point of view and in first person text.


Children on the spectrum tend to be visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures, this concept is used in most social stories. The social story should map out the skill or situation using images and text. Answering the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others, this is an area of weakness to individuals with autism.


A social story is like a role model or visual framework showing the social cues.  Social stories need no formal training to use and are editable, no two children are the same and we all use different terminology, therefore generally most social stories will need slight tweaks to make the content relevant to your child.


To learn more about implementing social stories and get downloads of social stories which have been already written for you to save you time visit:


Where you will also gather information on writing social stories for children with autism as well as info on what are social stories and why do they help?