When writing social stories, you need to understand what a social story is and the main aspects each book should have. Social stories are one of the most effective teaching methods that allow you to solve many problems for kids, adolescents, and even adults.
How to Write Social Stories
Social stories are mainly aimed at children with autism but can be used for anxiety, ADHD, and other special needs. These stories are brief descriptions of a specific situation or activity. These include information about what to expect in such a situation and why. They also help to explain what the child might see or experience in a particular case.
How and When Did Social Stories Emerge?
Carol Gray first developed the method of social stories. The goal is to answer questions about how to interact with others appropriately. Gray initially worked as a teacher with ASD students and is now an inclusive education consultant. The method of social stories first developed by Carol Gray is now used worldwide.
Social Story Topics
The choice of social story topic should be based on the child’s current emotional and educational level. Depending on their levels, these can be anywhere from picture books to detailed text.
Topics should not be broad, such as: “How to Talk with Friends.” Instead, topics need to be very specific such as: “how to invite a friend to play,” “how to join a conversation,” and “how to greet a friend when you see him for the first time.”
Once you learn the issue at hand, you can choose the specific topic of the social story you need to write.
Social Stories Writing – 5 Actionable Tips
Let’s look at five actionable tips and tricks for writing social stories. With these handy tips, you will be able to write social stories that are useful and engaging for your child.
1) Make the Main Character of the Social Story Look Like a Child
The first goal is to make your child the story’s main character (the protagonist). This can be done by giving the main character some common qualities such as gender, appearance, family members, interests, or skills.
When the child understands that the story’s hero is similar, it will be much easier for you, as a storyteller, to convey your message. The goal is for the child to relate to the story’s hero and emulate the main character’s actions.
For example, when you tell a social story to a boy named Erickson, you might start like this:
“There was a boy named Eric. He is smart, kind, tall, cute, and loves playing basketball like you.”
2) Make Sure Your Story Is Not to Long and Boring
Social stories can be read to a child by ear or can be presented as a simple book. Your child can carry this story in their bag and read it as needed. You should include pictures, photographs, and drawings when writing social stories—doing this can better grab the child’s attention and make the stories more interesting.
3) Involve More People to Act in Your Story
Involving familiar people help your child understand the real-life actions played out in the social story. For example, you can involve siblings or friends if the story is about a shared toy.
Create Different Stories for Different Situations
Social stories can be used to help your child deal with emotions, feelings, and other social skills. Social stories can also teach life skills such as cleanliness and hygiene, morning routines, toilet use, hand washing, and more.
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Tell Social Stories Before Your Child Experiences the Situation
It would help if you always tried to work through social stories before placing a child in a new situation. With the story fresh on their child, they will better remember how to react in the same way as in the story.
For example, you can read a social story on sharing toys before a playdate. You’re your child can immediately put it into practice and share toys with others.
Before writing social stories, try reading examples of ones already created.
For example, the story “Watching a Tragedy on Television” clarifies the confusing aspects of watching a newscast about a disaster on television.
Writing social stories isn’t hard; it just takes a little practice. If one way of creating the story doesn’t work for your child, try a different approach. Social stories are the perfect way to help your child learn about new situations and adjust behaviors in known situations. If you loved this post, check out the rest of our special needs parenting section for more great advice to help you with your parenting journey!