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Social Stories

What are social stories?

Social stories were created by Carol Gray in 1991 to help teach social skills to children / adults on the autism spectrum. They are short descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.

Social stories have a huge range of applications, including:

  • to develop self-care skills (eg how to clean teeth, wash hands or get dressed), social skills (eg sharing, asking for help, saying thank you, interrupting) and academic abilities
  • to help a person with autism to understand how others might behave or respond in a particular situation, and therefore how they might be expected to behave
  • to help others understand the perspective of a person with autism and why they may respond or behave in a particular way
  • to help a person to cope with changes to routine and unexpected or distressing events (eg absence of teacher, moving house, thunderstorms)
  • to provide positive feedback to a person about an area of strength or achievement in order to develop self-esteem
  • as a behavioural strategy (eg what to do when angry, how to cope with obsessions).