Social Stories were developed by Carol Gray, a former teacher who worked with students with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Social Stories are now widely used with a range of clients to help them with a multitude of topics. Social stories are extremely versatile and easy to use.
What are Social Stories?
A Social Story provides accurate social information in a reassuring way, which can be easily understood by the person it is written for. The aim is not to change a behaviour, but to allow the individual to improve their understanding of an event or expectation, therefore leading to a more effective response to it.
Like most stories, Social Stories have an introduction, body and conclusion. At least half of the content of a Social Story should congratulate the individual for their strengths. They are often used with images to support understanding and are written at a level that the individual can understand.
Social Stories can reduce anxiety because they provide information about what might happen or provide guidelines on how to behave.
Who can you use it with?
Social Stories were initially written for individuals with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder, however they have also been used effectively with individuals with other social and communication difficulties as well as people with learning difficulties.
Who can implement it?
The approach has strict guidance but it is relatively easy to learn and straight forward to implement so any one can use them, from families to therapists. Language needs to be modified and simplified depending on the language level of the user. Our therapy team at can provide training on writing social stories and can advise you on how best to use this approach.
When would you use it?
Social Stories can be used a variety of situations. For example they can help the user;
- To understand personal care skills.
- Understand how another person may react in a certain situation.
- Understand how they might be expected to behave in certain situations.
- Prepare for changes to routine or cope with distressing events.
- Identify their strengths and boost their self esteem.
- With sequencing and planning skills.
Why use Social Stories?
- Social Stories are usually written in a book or comic strip format, so they are easy to transport and access whenever they are needed.
- Social Stories can be used alongside other strategies.
- Social Stories can be designed for all age groups.
- Social Stories can feature interests that are unique to the individual, providing a familiar element to encourage use.
To find out more about Social Stories, visit the Gray Center
If you are interested in using social stories and would like training or advice, you can contact our team and we will be happy to help
Image © Copyright of Carol Gray – Social Stories™