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How to Use Social Stories for Kids with Autism

How to Use Social Stories for Kids with Autism

Many children on the autistic spectrum fight social situations in their daily lives. They find it difficult to understand certain behaviors or find it difficult to accept change. Being autistic isn't easy, but that doesn't mean we can't help them. So, the stories are explicitly made for autistic children and are social stories.

For these and many other reasons, social stories can be an excellent tool for educating children about what they can expect in various scenarios and what others can expect from them.

Let's start by talking about which social stories and where they come from.

Starting of social stories for autism

Developed for the first time by pediatrician Dr. Carol Gray in the early 1990s, social stories for autistic children have grown in popularity recently. Many social stories are available and downloaded online.

These stories deal with hand washing, transition management, and the safety of the pandemic. The range extends as long as social stories for children can be helpful.

However, creating your social story from scratch is often the best way to relate to your child and tell a story with which he will be involved. This allows for specific scenarios to be added to the story, allowing your child to understand the story better.

If you are wondering where to start, this article should help you as we look closer at how you can effectively use social stories for autistic children.

A social story is created to demonstrate specific situations or problems and how people can interact and manage them. For autistic children, social stories often help them understand social expectations, build communication, adapt behavior, and accept change.

Social stories for autism allow children to learn by reading documents. This helps them digest social situations, which can be difficult to verbalize. It becomes a learning experience as if you exercised when the situation occurred. Social stories are visual and better when tailored to specific situations and individual personalities. While writing social stories, it is recommended to include detailed information that the child must follow.

What do children help with social stories?

As parents, we must teach our children effectively using the best resources. Research studies suggest that social stories can help autistic children relate to others and understand what could be done better or not when encountering unknown situations. This prepares your child by treating the best reaction or interaction so that he can do it in the right situation.

  • Social stories can also help autistic children through:
  • Improvement of social skills and global communication, among others.
  • Help them understand both their emotions and those of others.
  • Reduce their anxiety levels incredibly when they are honored.
  • Understand how they can practice self-care and self-assessment.
  • Work on their behaviors and how to interact with others.
  • Manage life changes and transitions, such as moving houses or changing personal belongings.
  • Develop and maintain lasting friendships.
  • Use their imagination to help them explore new things.
  • And much more

How to write a social story for autistic children?

Most autism experts would recommend parents create social stories using the child with the child's voice and building from personal perspectives. This makes children's social stories more recognizable so they can easily digest them.

Here are some additional tips for creating a valuable social history:

  • An excellent social history should have a specific goal, such as addressing the desired behavior of the child.
  • An excellent social history must be concrete, with much information on the child's personality.
  • An excellent social history should easily describe things in positive language with encouraging words.

When writing social stories, you need to make sure that you are using both graphics and text. Depending on how often you want your child to be exposed to history, consider using it in class/school at home, as a light reading during recreation, or even as a story before bedtime.

Types of sentences to create a high-level social history

According to Autism Parenting Magazine, seven types of phrases are generally used in social stories for autistic children. These phrases can be used as guides on how to create your social stories. The types of sentences include:


These are descriptions of another person's inner facets, such as knowledge, thoughts, feelings, opinions, beliefs, and motivations, including physicality.

"My sister likes to run at night."

"My brother doesn't like horror movies."

"My mother will do anything for us."


These phrases answer "because an event or action occurs." These physical phrases cannot be taken or filled with opinions.

"Children eat fruit and vegetables to be healthy."

"Adults go to work so they can buy things."


These are phrases that respond positively to any situation or action.

"I will pray before going to bed.

"I will look at both sides crossing the road."


These sentences are written primarily by a child after hearing a story or action. These phrases can be used to help autistic children as a reminder to perform an action or series of actions to resolve a particular event.

"I have to wake up early every day to go to school on time."

"I have to drink milk every night to keep my bones solid."


These are supportive phrases that can strengthen the meaning of any statement. It also underlines an opinion or value. These sentences add to the severity of the action and give more importance.

"I will respect my classmates. It is very important to be kind."

"I will listen to my mom and dad. They are good ways to listen and remain obedient."


These sentences explain the importance of other people's roles in an activity or situation. This teaches autistic children to learn that others are reliable and trust them.

"There is a lot to learn in school and remember. My teacher can explain them to me so I can understand."

"There are so many animals in the zoo. The guide can introduce me to animals to learn more about them."


These phrases encourage autistic children to seek the correct answer to any situation. These are beneficial phrases because the child learns the importance of understanding different social situations and can be managed.

"My sister likes to play volleyball at school."

"My father likes to watch sports."

General advice for the use of social stories for autistic children

  • In light of the above, here are some more general ideas for parents of children on the spectrum of using social stories to meet the needs of an autistic child:
  • Determine which topic can be included in social history and keep it specific. Avoid adding too many topics and information.
  • To help your child tie more, create your main character with the characteristics of your child. You can add specific facial or body features or things they have done.
  • Always keep stories in positive behavior and combine comfort, understanding, and patience. Try to avoid negativity and always create the atmosphere lightly.
  • Separate concepts other than different stories to meet each specific need. If your story has too many topics, making another story would be better.
  • Observe and consider your child's mood whenever you tell a social story. They won't always be in the mood to listen to stories, so choose your time wisely.

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