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Activities and resources for the four areas of need

Social Stories

 

WHAT ARE SOCIAL STORIES?

 

Social stories were created by Carol Gray in 1991. They are short descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.

 

WHAT ARE SOCIAL STORIES FOR?

 

Social stories can be used to:

 

  • develop self-care skills (eg how to clean teeth, wash hands or get dressed), social skills (eg sharing, asking for help, saying thank you, interrupting) and academic abilities

  • help someone to understand how others might behave or respond in a particular situation

  • help others understand the perspective of an autistic person and why they may respond or behave in a particular way

  • help a person to cope with changes to routine and unexpected or distressing events (eg absence of teacher, moving house, thunderstorms)

  • provide positive feedback to a person about an area of strength or achievement in order to develop self-esteem

  • as a behavioural strategy (eg what to do when angry, how to cope with obsessions).

 

 

HOW DO SOCIAL STORIES HELP?

 

Social stories present information in a literal, 'concrete' way, which may improve a person's understanding of a previously difficult or ambiguous situation or activity. The presentation and content can be adapted to meet different people's needs.

 

They can help with sequencing (what comes next in a series of activities) and 'executive functioning' (planning and organising).    

 

By providing information about what might happen in a particular situation, and some guidelines for behaviour, you can increase structure in a person's life and thereby reduce anxiety.

 

Creating or using a social story can help you to understand how the autistic person perceives different situations.

 

(For more information visit www.autism.org.uk )


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