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.
The terms 'social story' and 'social stories' are trademarks originated and owned by Carol Gray.
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.
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 a person to cope with changes to routine and unexpected or distressing events (eg absence of teacher, moving house, death of a family member)
- as a behavioural strategy (eg what to do when angry, how to cope with obsessions).
If you would like a social story made for a specific event or situation do let your child’s class teacher know or contact the Inclusion Team.
If you click on the link above you will find a really useful set of social stories to share with children, covering topics ranging from coping with a new baby in the family, to getting a haircut, to making friends. The National Autistic Society website also provides guidance on writing your own personalised social stories
Please see below for examples of personalised story books that we have made to support individual pupils in different situations. You can edit as you wish.