What are Social Stories?

Social stories are short, simple stories that describe a situation and how your child is expected to behave in that situation. They are meant to guide and direct your child’s responses to new situations.

Register today in the Community section of the website and you will be able to create your own social stories that can be downloaded and printed.

How do I use a Social Story?

Social stories are meant to prepare your child for a given situation. Thus, they should be reviewed prior to participating in the situation. We recommend reading the story once through without stopping with your child. Then, read it again and stop and point out a few important points. Do this numerous times and in different contexts prior to entering the situation written in the social story. You can ask them simple questions about the social story (e.g., where should we put our garbage?) Reading a story will help to prepare them but you still need to teach the skill embedded in the social story directly and create a lot of opportunities to practice. For example, when reviewing how to act around wildlife, practice in a park or your backyard after you read the social story. You can also highlight the importance of throwing away garbage in a labeled garbage can in your home before entering a national park.

Don’t forget to praise and reward your child for practicing the new skills they are learning!

If you would like more information on developing and using social stories see Carol Gray’s website The Gray Center for Social Learning and Understanding.