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Social Stories

These books preview common childhood experiences for children who might appreciate more structure and preparation.

Social Stories

"Making friends is a skill that must be taught directly to many students with learning disabilities if they are to succeed in school."

Katherine L. DeGeorge

This guide provides you with a list of a variety of books to use when teaching social skills to children. Activities include going to the dentist, sharing and helping, getting ready for school, riding a bike, containing emotions, etc. If you are looking for a story to share with your child, client, or student about certain social aspects of activities, here is a great place to start!

Writing Social Stories

Guidelines for writing social stories:

1) Descriptive: Identify the contextual variables of the target situation

2) Directive: Assist in describing a desired behavior in response to a social cue or situation

3) Perspective: Describe the reaction and feelings associated with the target situation

4) Affirmative: Express shared beliefs of a given culture

Sansosti, F. J., Powell-Smith, K. A., & Kincaid, D. (2004). A research synthesis of social story interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 19(4), 194-204. DOI: 10.1177/10883576040190040101

Teaching Social Skills

"Teaching and introducing skills with a book involves many benefits."

1) Reading to the students can increase their literacy, listening comprehension, and vocabulary

2) Students enjoy stories and are motivated to learn more than if direct teaching were the only aspect of the skills lesson


Example Lesson:

Step 1: Identify someone to whom you can introduce yourself. Students should examine their surroundings and find someone with whom they would like to play with or talk. Students should be given examples of how people look when they want to play or talk. Teachers can use pictures of students engaging in a variety of activities. For example, a student finishing a homework assignment, a student coloring alone, a student with a sad face,a student with a happy face, and so forth.

Step 2: Smile and approach the person. The teacher should model walking up to someone with a smile on his or her face. Students should practice this while approaching a peer.

Step 3: Introduce yourself. Say your name and ask the other person his or her name. Look at the person and smile. The teacher should continue modeling.

Step 4: Ask open-ended questions to get and give information. Students can ask another student what they are playing with, what they like to play, and so forth. Students need to know what an open-ended question is. Open-ended questions have answers that have more than two or three words. Remember to look at the person and smile. The teacher can now ask two students to model for the class, or the teacher can continue modeling. A list of questions can be provided for the students if they are able to read or the teacher can provide questioning prompts. This step will depend on the level of the students.

Step 5: Suggest something to play or do together. Find some activity or game to play on the playground, during free time, and so forth. The teacher can prompt the pairs to engage in an activity and provide ideas for the students so that the interaction will continue.

DeGeorge, K. L. (1998). Friendship and stories: using children's literature to teach friendship skills to children with learning disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 33(3), 157-162/