How To Write Social Stories?

Do you know a child struggling with learning new routines or playing with peers? Do you know a child that finds it hard participating in conversations? Social stories help inform that child what to expect and what is expected of them in such contexts. Early forms of communication relied on icons/images to communicate information in history.

Children with learning disabilities need Social Stories formed with pictures to ease communication. Social Stories also help them manage their everyday life.

What are Social Stories?

Social Stories as a concept came into being in the early 90s. Carol Gray created the concept to use with both children and adults with autism. It has evolved to cater for all types of students, and those with communication deficits.

According to Carol Gray, “Social Stories describe a situation, skill or concept in terms of relevant cues, perspectives and common responses in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience.”

Social stories use words and images to break-down tasks or social skills into smaller, easy-to-follow steps. They are short in length and designed to benefit people with developmental impediments, autism, and other learning disabilities.

Social Stories help calm fears and anxiety, teach social norms, improve social skills, learn new routines, and follow routines. Creators of Social Stories are authors. They work on behalf of children, adolescents, and adults living with autism.

Writing A Social Story

A social story should be safe and instructive. Social Stories are visually like comic strip conversations. The significant difference is the author, who chooses the tone of the story. Online Writers Rating provides custom writing reviews to create good Social Stories.

Inclusive Solutions offer useful resources like Hints For Graphic Facilitators and Keys to Inclusion. These are great books for creating social stories about autism and understanding child psychology, EHCP, and inclusive education.

Here are a few tips to consider when writing a Social Story:

  • Have a goal in mind as you start
  • Select a specific situation
  • Use and maintain a positive tone
  • Tell the story with simple language
  • Tailor the story to the individual’s particular needs

Have a Goal in Mind as you start

Taking special consideration is vital in writing a social story. Because the story’s foundation is from the perspective of the individual facing the social barrier, you must determine the problem you hope to solve before you begin.

Identify and answer if there is a situation that causes the individual to act out or meltdown. Identifying this issue, requires interviewing teachers, friends, and parents of people living with autism/disabilities.

Select a Specific Situation

Social Stories explain specific situations in the form of a story. If an individual is worried about a change in routine, you can select a case and create a simple account to address this.

For example, choose a situation like an appointment with a dentist and create a detailed story focusing on the following points:

  • Social Cues
  • The best social responses
  • What might be seen, heard, or felt during an event.
  • What other people are expected to say or do
  • What is expected of them, and 
  • Why is that expected of them?

Use and Maintain a Positive Tone

According to Carol Gray, “Every Social Story has an overall patient and reassuring tone.” Using social stories is to create social awareness while offering a level of comfort and familiarity. Sometimes, Social Stories suggest why people behave the way they do and the connection regarding their behavior.

By showing the individual in the story being successful and socially engaged, you encourage a more positive outlook and help them lower their social anxieties. Writing a Social Story that involves interactions with other people should be reassuring and approachable. Whatever the case may be, it is pertinent that Social Stories are written with positive language.

Tell the Story with Simple Language

Break down the scenario to smaller steps, and ensure it is written in the present tense. Specify possible actions and phrases that may arise. Provide enough information, but ensure the language is simple.

Social stories are told using these following types of sentences:

  • Descriptive Sentences: Addressing “wh” questions like (Who is involved, where the scene takes place, what is happening, and why we are here). Provide insights into the feelings of others and their thoughts.
  • Perspective Sentences: General description of another person’s thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. Include their physical condition as well. For example, “my sister likes to swim.”
  • Directive Sentences: Provide a range of gentle directions like “Moses tries to…” or “Hannah goes to…” and so on. Ensure the story’s focus is positive and desist from “I have to” or “I must” in them.
  • Control Sentences: They are written by the child who heard the story. It is used as a reminder to help the individual recall the information in the social story. For example, “I need to eat fruits every day for a healthy diet.”

Tailor the Story to the Individual’s Specific Needs

Just as there are different subjects, Social Stories come in different lengths, styles, and varieties. Ensure the picture you used is simple, as pictures with intricate details may be distracting.

For reference purposes, depending on the age of the person the story is made for, Social Stories can include the individual’s photograph, or specific locations or objects. Making the story more personal.

Bottom Line

Social Stories are important because they improve the way children living with autism relate to others. They help them understand what to do and what should not be done when faced with life situations.


Frank Hamilton has been working as an editor at essay review service Best Writers Online. He is a professional writing expert in such topics as blogging, digital marketing and self-education. He also loves traveling and speaks Spanish, French, German and English.

We specialise in autism in mainstream schools, inclusion of students with disabilities, education psychology, autism education, community building and training on inclusion.

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