Using Social Stories to Help Your Child

Social Stories – What are they?


A Social Story is a short story written in a specific style and format. A social story normally describes what happens in a specific social situation. This may be something that is obvious to us but not to a child with impaired social understanding.


Social stories aim to improve understanding of social situations and encourage appropriate responses. Social Stories can include a combination of writing / pictures / symbols in order to facilitate the communication levels of the child they are intended for, i.e. level of understanding, vocabulary knowledge etc.


Who uses Social Stories?

Social stories were originally developed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder but they have also proved beneficial to children with learning, emotional, cognitive and communication impairments. Social Stories are versatile and easily tailored to meet a variety of needs. A social story should be unique and written for a specific individual about a situation they find difficult.

How can Social Stories help with communication?

Social stories provide accurate information about real and relevant situations. They serve as a prompt about how to respond and what to expect in a specific situation. They have clear goals and give reassurance and positive feedback.

A successful social story should be based on careful observation and assessment.


Your Speech and Language Therapist can work with you to develop a social story that is tailored to meet your child’s needs.


Written By


Sarah Gorman, Senior Speech & Language Therapist at Sensational Kids, Kildare


Copyright Sensational Kids CLG 2018