Social Stories, first developed by Carol Gray in 1990, are a valuable tool for teaching your child with autism social skills, how to behave in a variety of social situations and to experience more joy and less stress from social interactions. Social Stories are a respected, evidence-based, therapy tool used with individuals with autism of all ages worldwide. You can read more about the origin of social stories here. Keep reading to discover the 20 reasons to use printable social stories to teach children with autism to play.
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What is a social story?
A short visual story with clear, real photos, that teaches an individual with autism new skills and appropriate behaviors. These often feature real photos of kids engaging in different types of social activities, such as a playdate, a birthday party, etc., and break down these social situations into a series of specific steps. Social Stories help individuals with autism engage in social situations more easily, without difficult behaviors, and with more joy and less stress!
20 reasons to use printable social stories to teach children with autism social skills
1. Social Stories increase appropriate behavior.
2. They teach your child with autism to complete a simple task like building a lego tower.
3. They help your child navigate a difficult social situation, step by step.
4. Social Stories prepare your child for an upcoming social event, such as a playdate.
5. They help your child with autism become aware of different types of body language and facial expressions to better understand social situations and interactions.
6. They decrease stress.
7. They increase opportunities for interaction.
8. The best Social Stories use real photos in social stories allow your child to see other children engaging in the same social activities that you are teaching.
9. You can bring Printable Social Stories with you anywhere you go and work on social skills with your child on the go!
10. You can use them to teach your child social rules.
11. Social Stories walk your child through situations that can be anxiety producing, like asking a friend to play.
12. They provide play ideas for when your child is bored.
13. They provide the visual prompt your child needs to understand social situations and social rules.
14. They help reduce social anxiety.
15. They can be read with more than one child at once, making them a social activity in and of themselves.
16. They are easy to slip in your purse and use with your child in a variety of environments – at school, at the park or at a birthday party, in addition to using them at home.
17. Printable Social Stories are typically short so you can work with them in short bursts of time. Such as in a short home session in your child’s progress nook.
18. Your child can flip through them with friends.
19. It is clear how to use Social Stories making them the perfect tool to share with grandparents, dads, teachers, therapists and friends who want to work on building new skills with your child.
20. They are an affordable and effective therapy tool for building your child’s social skills.
Where can I find printable social stories?
To get started, I highly recommend this Printable Social Stories for Play Bundle. It is a collection of 20 social stories and includes everything you need to help your child navigate play time. These are the perfect printable Social Stories for playtime and they are on sale for Cyber Monday (for one day only)!
Dyan says “Social stories are a great tool for helping kids navigate different social situations. This bundle pack of 20 social stories is based on the theme of playtime and will help your kids understand the rules of common childhood games, learn how to ask a friend to play, decide what to do when bored, and so much more.
But you know what? It is hard to find social stories that use real photographs instead of clipart. I’m not sure about you, but even I can’t relate to clipart in social stories, so how did I expect my literal thinking son to as well? I made it a mission to include real photographs of real children like yours and mine in each social story I write. I also aim to include a wide variety of children in those photos so that all children are represented.”
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