Search This Site


The Best Way to Teach Social Stories to Kids on the Autism Spectrum

"What is the best way to teach social stories? Should this be done by parents, a therapist, or in a peer-group setting? And are social stories good resources for the home-schooler?"

Indeed, social stories can be effectively used to teach appropriate behavior in a variety of settings. Social stories may be used by parents, therapists, or in peer group settings. And home-schooling parents often use social stories effectively. Social stories are used to address many  psychological and social symptoms, including:
    • A lack of imagination in play or expression
    • Consistent shyness, anxiety, and unhappiness
    • Depression during the years of adolescence and early adulthood
    • Difficulty in relationships with others
    • Feelings of isolation from others
    • Obsessions, including irrational fears and anxieties
    • Timidity

      The Importance of Social Stories

      Social stories are a teaching device for kids. The stories are used to teach everyday social skills to youngsters who have a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism. The stories contain accurate and useful information for someone encountering situations that they may find difficult or confusing. The stories approach a topic by describing it in explicit detail and focus on teachable skills needed within the story. A typical social story will discuss a given situation, how someone is expected to react in that situation, and why the reactions are appropriate.

      Deciding on an Appropriate Social Story

      Social stories are individualized in that each youngster is seen as an individual whose problems accompany a diagnosis of High-Functioning Autism.

      An appropriate social story captures the areas of the youngster’s life that are challenging. The child’s behavior is evaluated by parents and teachers at home, in public, and at school. Parents, teachers, and therapists look at the child’s tantrums, withdrawal, social, and escape behaviors. They target these behaviors, and use a social story that addresses the behaviors.

      Here's an example:

      Lining Up—

      At school, we sometimes line up. We line up to go to the gym, to go to the library, and to go out to recess. Sometimes my friends and I get excited when we line up, because we’re going someplace fun, like out to recess. It is okay to get excited, but it is important to try to walk to the line. Running can cause accidents, and my friends or I could get hurt. I will try to walk to the line (the behavioral goal for the child).

      As you can see, social stories are short and to the point. They are structured to describe social situations, explicitly describing what the youngster can expect from the situation, and what society expects of the youngster.

      The Benefits of Social Stories

      Social stories are beneficial in that they focus on “theory of mind” impairments (i.e., mind blindness), which are inabilities to understand the feelings and behaviors of others. In addition, social stories not only provide information about social situations, but also help the child learn how to handle them. Socially relevant information, with illustrations and text, have been shown to be highly effective with young people on the autism spectrum.

      Dealing With Frustration: A Social Story--

      ==> Continue learning how to effectively use social stories to teach your child social skills...

      ==> Social stories in video format can be viewed here... 

      More resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

      ==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

      No comments:

      My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

      Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

      Click here to read the full article…

      How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

      Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

      Click here for the full article...

      Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

      Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

      Click here to read the full article…

      Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

      Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

      Click here to read the full article…

      Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

      Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

      Click here
      to read the full article...

      Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

      Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

      Click here for the full article...