What is a Social Story?
Through the art of storytelling, social stories can be used to teach appropriate behaviour, social norms and routines in a relatable way. Social stories can be used as a proactive strategy before encountering new situations or for situations that are known to be challenging for your child.
Why are social stories useful?
Social stories can:
- Promote self-awareness and self-calming
- Be tailored to your child’s age, ability and interests
- Include your child, favourite activities and characters to capture their attention
- Help your child predict outcomes and remember sequences of events
- Provide an opportunity to practice reading individually or as a family.
How to Use a Social Story:
- Read the social story with your child before facing the situation. Do this when your child is calm and before challenging behaviour occurs
- Promote your child’s understanding by asking questions or fill in the blanks
- Role play using the strategies with them
- Keep the story in a place where the child can easily access it and refer back to it
- As your child has success, read the story less often, or phase it out
- Set expectations for behaviour by describing what your child should do, not what they shouldn’t do
- Aim for improvement not perfection by using statements such as “I will try…” Any attempt to adjust would be a positive attempt
- Include an interactive element to your social story, such as adding behaviour choices for your child to choose from (e.g., “when I get upset I will try to: take 5 deep breaths, squeeze a pillow, or listen to some happy music”)
- If your child is not interested in books or comics, consider making a simple story using a smart device. Take pictures that are relevant to your topic and simply type on top of the images. Your child might be more interested in the content if it’s on a device
- Social Story Templates
- Library of Social Stories
- COVID-19 Social Story