Social stories – what are they and how can they help my child?

You may have heard the term social stories in conversations or in therapy, but what is it really and what does it aim to achieve?

photo of girl reading book
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Social stories are an effective way to teach children how to navigate a new situation or environment. A social story is typically composed of four different types of short, direct sentences, being descriptive, directive, perspective, and affirmative.

  • Descriptive sentences describe the situation in terms of relevant social cues.
  • Directive sentences specify an appropriate behavioural response.
  • Perspective sentences describe the feelings and responses of other people in the targeted situation.
  • Affirmative sentences enhance the meaning of surrounding statements and often express a commonly shared value or opinion within a given culture.

So, lets break these different sentences down into simple terms.

  • Descriptive sentences describe what is going on in the scenario or situation.
  • Directive sentences inform the child of what an appropriate response or reaction would be to the scenario and situation.
  • Perspective sentences identify the ways in which other people may feel or respond in the scenario or situation.
  • Finally, affirmative sentences pull the story together and normalize the situation or scenario.

Social stories are great for kids who get stressed out when things are unpredictable. Social stories can be created for all different types of scenarios and situations. These stories can reduce the anxiety for children through creating awareness and establishing what may occur in a certain environment or a scenario. They help to make the unpredictable, predictable! Social stories are also a way for children to learn how to identify behaviours and reactions that are appropriate in certain scenarios and situations.

young boy inwhite long sleeve shirt in thumbs up
Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

There are endless examples of scenarios and situations for which social stories can be created and used for. Social stories can be created when a child is beginning pre-school, transitioning from pre-school to primary school, moving houses, coping with different emotions, or disruptions to day-to-day routines. These are just a handful of examples where social stories can be used to reduce anxiety and the unknown for children when experiencing a new or different situation or scenario.

Social stories are a great tool that we use at Stepping Stones Therapy for Children. Our experienced occupational therapists can create social stories to meet your child’s needs. Our occupational therapists can assist your child to develop a greater understanding and awareness of the different situations that can arise as we experience all new and different things in life.

To see an example if a social story about COVID-19 -check out this link Coronavirus Social Story by KeshetChicago – Flipsnack

References

s10803-006-0086-1.pdf (springer.com)

You may have heard the term social stories in conversations or in therapy, but what is it really and what does it aim to achieve?

Social stories are an effective way to teach children how to navigate a new situation or environment. A social story is typically composed of four different types of short, direct sentences, being descriptive, directive, perspective, and affirmative.

  • Descriptive sentences describe the situation in terms of relevant social cues.
  • Directive sentences specify an appropriate behavioural response.
  • Perspective sentences describe the feelings and responses of other people in the targeted situation.
  • Affirmative sentences enhance the meaning of surrounding statements and often express a commonly shared value or opinion within a given culture.

So, lets break these different sentences down into simple terms.

  • Descriptive sentences describe what is going on in the scenario or situation.
  • Directive sentences inform the child of what an appropriate response or reaction would be to the scenario and situation.
  • Perspective sentences identify the ways in which other people may feel or respond in the scenario or situation.
  • Finally, affirmative sentences pull the story together and normalize the situation or scenario.

Social stories are great for kids who get stressed out when things are unpredictable. Social stories can be created for all different types of scenarios and situations. These stories can reduce the anxiety for children through creating awareness and establishing what may occur in a certain environment or a scenario. They help to make the unpredictable, predictable! Social stories are also a way for children to learn how to identify behaviours and reactions that are appropriate in certain scenarios and situations.

There are endless examples of scenarios and situations for which social stories can be created and used for. Social stories can be created when a child is beginning pre-school, transitioning from pre-school to primary school, moving houses, coping with different emotions, or disruptions to day-to-day routines. These are just a handful of examples where social stories can be used to reduce anxiety and the unknown for children when experiencing a new or different situation or scenario.

Social stories are a great tool that we use at Stepping Stones Therapy for Children. Our experienced occupational therapists can create social stories to meet your child’s needs. Our occupational therapists can assist your child to develop a greater understanding and awareness of the different situations that can arise as we experience all new and different things in life.

To see an example if a social story about COVID-19 -check out this link Coronavirus Social Story by KeshetChicago – Flipsnack

References

s10803-006-0086-1.pdf (springer.com)

Author: Divya Parsotam

Paediatric Occupational Therapy Assistant

Editor: Michelle Newby  BHSc(OT) MSc PhD Candidate

Paediatric Occupational Therapist

Copyright Stepping Stones Therapy for Children 2022/23


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