One of my favorite tools in the speech therapist arsenal is a social story. “What is a social story?” you may ask, and “Why are they so helpful?” I am here to answer those questions!

A social story is simply a story or book that is created to support a child (or group of children). Typically, they are written in a way to demonstrate an order of events for a child. Children tend to feel much more supported and calm when they are aware of a schedule or set of expectations. For example, if a mother is worried about her son becoming upset that she is taking him to the doctor, providing a social story about what to expect in that situation can be positive and ease apprehension surrounding a trip to the doctor’s office.

Beside helping to set expectations, social stories are wonderful because they can be made on a very personal level for each child. As a speech therapist, I often have parents send me actual pictures of objects/places that are relevant to the story instead of using stock photos. I also use the child’s name as often as possible in the story. This helps empower the child, knowing that he or she can set expectations for the situation he or she is about to encounter.

Social stories are used commonly in children with autism spectrum disorders and pragmatic (social) language disorders. I have found that they have a very positive effect on typically developing children, as well, which is why I use them so often in speech therapy for all of my clients.

While making social stories to share with my clients and their families is wonderful and a passion of mine, it is also something you can do at home with your little ones! Is there a part of your day or a routine you have with which your child doesn’t always agree? An example that comes to mind is getting ready for bed. A great activity you can do would be to make a little “book” together with you child about the things you do leading up to bed time (i.e. brush teeth, change into pajamas, read books, tuck in bed, turn off the lights, etc.). He or she can choose the paper, the colors, and draw pictures while you write the story. Just make sure to use short, simple sentences and keep each page to a maximum of 2-3 sentences and 5-10 pages. When your story is complete, read it together each night just before your bed time routine begins. Over the next few days, you will see your child becoming more interested in the routine!

I have attached an example story for you to help with your at home story creations. As always, please contact me with any questions and do not hesitate to reach out for a free consultation! Time_For_School_Social_Story

Below is a link to my Teachers Pay Teachers store if you are interested in me creating specific social stories for you 🙂 I would be happy to help!