Understanding Social Stories

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Understanding Social Stories

Understanding Social Stories

What is a social story?

A social story is an individualized short story that is utilized to assist individuals to interpret and understand social situations that they may find challenging or confusing.

Social stories can include the norms for behavior in a certain context, the perspectives of others, and specific steps for applying social skills which are illustrated through the use of picture cues along with a short-written story.

Making a social story

The first step to making a social story is identifying a certain social situation that the individual has difficulty with. This could be a specific social skill or situation (e.g., sharing, asking for help, getting dressed, what to do when they get angry). Once a specific social skill or situation is identified, next the primary features need to be determined (e.g., setting, people involved, how it begins or ends, what happens). This information then needs to be shared not only with the individual but also other relevant individuals such as the individual’s teachers or others depending on the setting to receive input. Finally, the social story can be developed.

Some Benefits of social stories

  • Provides clear expectations
  • Develops theory of mind
  • Promotes self-regulation skills
  • Improves socio-emotional skills
  • Teaches sequencing

Example of a social story