Social Stories

Social stories are useful for students with social communication difficulties. They are completed by the student with adult support and are used to:

  • help prepare for a new experience
  • help the learner to accustom themselves to a situation, and to respond appropriately
  • help prevent extreme reactions that stem from a lack of social understanding
  • provide a prompt for socially appropriate behaviour
  • provide positive feedback to the learner so they can recognise their own appropriate skills and behaviour

Features of a social story:

  • Written for an individual about a situation they find difficult
  • Based on careful assessment
  • Writing suited to match the language and vocabulary level of the learner
  • Written in the first person and present or future tense
  • One aspect or step per page

How do they help:

  • Provide accurate information about real and relevant situations
  • Present information visually
  • Do not rely on interpersonal contact
  • Provide a prompt about how to respond
  • Provide reassurance
  • Provide positive feedback  

Caroline Smith (2003)

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Last updated: 22 October 2015

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