Social Stories

5242 words 21 pages
Social Stories with Children with Autism: How to write a Social Story

Based on Gray, C. (2002) The New Social Story Book

The use of Social Stories was pioneered by Carol Gray in 1991 and is being widely used with children Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Social Stories provide the student with accurate information regarding situations s/he encounters.

Social rules, which can be difficult for children with Autism to understand instinctively, are written down as concrete rules in the form of a story. The stories are written in language that the child uses or can easily understand. Visual supports can be added to Social Stories in order to aid comprehension for the student.

A Social Story is considered as a process that results in a product
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These sentences give a Social Story a ‘heart', describing the emotional and cognitive aspects that are a (sometimes invisible but critically important) part of every social situation. Sample perspective sentences include:
1) My teacher or substitute teacher knows about maths (knowledge/thoughts).
2) My sister usually likes to play the piano (feelings).
3) Some children believe in the Easter Bunny (belief).
4) Many children like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch (opinion).
5) Some children decide to work hard to finish assignments before recess (motivation).
6) Sometimes, people feel sick when they eat too much (physical condition/health).

Directive sentences
Directive sentences identify a suggested response or choice of response to a situation or concept, gently directing the behaviour of the person with Autism. Authors must carefully develop these sentences, paying special attention to the possibility of literal interpretation. For example, beginning a directive sentence with ‘I will' or ‘I can' may mislead a person with Autism, who may believe the response must be completed exactly as written, with no room for error. Instead, directive sentences often begin with ‘I will try to ‘, ‘I will work on ', or ‘One thing I may try to say (do) is '. Directive sentences may also be stated as a series of response options. Sample directives sentences include:
1) I will try to stay in my chair.
2) I


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