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How to write Social Stories

4 Feb

The role of social stories are to explain situations that may happen between people in daily life. These might be the most ordinary of situations, but not all students understand the unspoken rules regarding the situation.

Let’s look at something simple.

Meeting and greeting someone.

1)      We would assume that someone knows that you have to:

  • Smile
  • Shake hands
  • Say hello
  • Perhaps say your name, and ask their name.

2)      The other person might also:

  • Stick their hand out to initiate the hand shake
  • Wait for you to initiate the hand shake

3)      Other things you may take for granted:

  • Facing towards them, not away!
  • Look interested, not bored!
  • You might feel nervous

When preparing the social story we need to include the actions, the first list, what the other person might also do, the second list, and also the unwritten assumptions about the whole meeting, ie. The third list.

This must all be done in a none judgemental way. Assume that the child doesn’t know ANY of thie information that you are telling them. You will be surprised. The first time I used the guide to friendships story with an autistic boy, it was light a light flicked on. He had no idea why touchy feely was different for boys and girls. He asked many questions, but it really helped him to understand.

Here is a version of the above story that I have written. Meeting new people Feel free to use and adapt.

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