Social Stories to Teach Social Skills to Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Children with high-functioning autism are often perplexed when it comes to picking up social cues. Social stories for children with behavior problems due to ASD help to teach these skills in an easy and direct way that children better understand.

Social stories for children with behavior problems help teach more appropriate social skills. Kids on the spectrum don't just pick up social skills, so social stories can provide a great tool in teaching a skill in a direct way. Social stories help to give children a better understanding of other people's thoughts, feelings and views. They also help the ASD student to better predict another person's behavior based on his/her actions.

Social stories present various situations in a structured and direct way so that the youngster can understand a situation without having to "read between the lines". Social stories are written from the youngster's perspective. They are simply illustrated using uncluttered drawings or photographs to depict each step of the story.

Social stories can be written about many different social and behavioral situations that kids encounter in the school or any other environment. Some possible ideas for social stories include "getting in line", "taking turns on the swings", "sitting in the lunch room", "circle time", "taking turns when playing games", "sharing my trucks", or any other situation that causes confusion for a youngster.

Write social stories in the first person, present tense. The youngster will read or hear the story as if he/she is the one talking. This is easiest for him/her to understand. Simply describe the situation, who is involved, what is happening, where the action is taking place, as well as why the situation has occurred. 
Give some perspective about the thoughts and feelings of the other people involved in the story. Plainly state what the desired response of the youngster should be in the story. You may use a sentence to summarize the situation at the end of the story to better enable the youngster to understand the desired actions.

Here is an example of how to write social stories for children with behavior problems. This social story was written for a youngster who doesn't understand that other children don't appreciate it when someone stands too close to them when carrying on a conversation:

"Sometimes I talk to the other kids in my class. The other kids don't like when I stand very close to them. When I stand too closely, it makes my friends feel crowded. If I stand too close, other kids sometimes get mad at me. I can back up and stand three feet away from my friends when we talk. It makes my friends happy when I stand three feet away when we talk."

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