A social story is a great way to break down a task or social situation into small steps for children. Pictures can play a vital role in helping children better understand many situations. Social stories help with difficult situations or tasks our children face on a daily basis.
Regardless of diagnosis, social stories may help your child. They are often used with children who have an autism spectrum disorder, learning disability, Down syndrome, and more.
Social stories are often written to help a child understand points of view, rules, routines, situations, upcoming events, or abstract concepts, or to understand certain expectations. A social story is usually written for a specific person and situation. They can be written to explain a wide variety of situations.
You can write your own social story for your child or you can print one that you find online (there may be a cost for some of the stories). Whatever the situation, you can use a social story to help your child understand something. If your child can read, have them read the story with you. Use pictures to illustrate the ideas in the story. If your child cannot read, you can read the story to them. It can be helpful to read the story together several times.
There are seven sentence types that may be used in a social story:
PBIS World has quite a few examples of these sentence types.
There are many other websites with helpful information about social stories, too. One Place for Special Needs offers many resources on social stories in their Complete Guide to Social Stories. Social Skills Stories for Teenagers with Autism offers printable stories that you may find helpful. Free Pictures for Social Stories is an article that lists where you can find free pictures and symbols you can use in your social stories.
There are other articles on this webpage that have information on social stories: Navigating Daily Life – Major Life Events and Navigating Daily Life – Parenting Children with Disabilities. You can find other helpful resources on our Find Services, Groups and Events page, too.
There are many opportunities for parents to provide natural occurring activities to help their children learn—and improve—their skills.
Here are some great ideas from a parent to help organize chores and work toward your child’s success and independence.