22 Sep Social stories
Many children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder struggle to understand what is expected of them and how they should behave in different social situations. They can find it extremely challenging to pick up on social cues, inference and empathise which can make it impossible to know how and why we should act at different times.
It is really important that children with autism are taught what is expected of them in social scenarios as sometimes their behaviour can be seen as defiant or a lack of co-operation but this is simply not the case. Social Stories are a great way of helping people with autism develop a greater understanding of different social situations. They involve a short description of a particular event or social situation and state what to expect and why. The explicit nature of a social story should improve a person’s understanding of a previously ambiguous situation; this is particularly significant for children with autism as by increasing the structure of a situation will hopefully reduce some anxiety they may be feeling.
There are many ready-made social stories available on-line if you simply search for them; Carol Gray, who first defined Social Stories in 1991, offers a good range on her website: https://www.thegraycenter.org/social-stories/what-are-social-stories.
Or you can have a go at creating your own! If you want to give this a go it is important that you follow the guidance on The National Autistic Society website. They offer step-by-step instructions outlining how Social Stories should be written, including the different types of sentences that must be included, the ratio of these sentences and other factors to consider (e.g. length of story).
If you have a child with autism and are looking for support or simply need some advice regarding how to write Social Stories please do not hesitate to contact us via email: email@example.com or give us a ring on: 07510 067 442