Next Steps Event - Thursday 25th April 5pm-7pm

Social Stories

Social stories are short descriptions of a particular situation, event or activity, which include specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.

Social stories can be used to: 

  • develop self-care skills (for example, how to clean teeth, wash hands or get dressed) and social skills (for example, sharing, asking for help, saying thank you, interrupting).
  • 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 (for example, 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 (for example, what to do when angry, how to cope with obsessions). 

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.