The 5 Essential Elements of an Incredibly Effective Social Story

You’ve probably heard the term “social story” used before, but do you know what it is or why it is used? Look no further, we have the answers!

What are Social Stories?

Social stories are narratives to increase appropriate social behaviors. These stories are visual, different for each situation, and give very specific step-by-step information for that situation. Social stories are written in the student’s voice from their perspective. These stories are typically used for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, but can help any child!

What are the Different Parts of a Social Story?

1. Descriptive:

– This part answers the wh- questions relevant to the situation. Where it is, who it’s occurring with, and why it’s happening.

2. Perspective:

– This part includes opinions, feelings, ideas related to the situation.

3. Directive:

– This part includes a range of responses for a particular situation. It’s important that they have a positive focus and refrain from using “I have to” or “I must” in them.

4. Affirmative:

– This part includes statements that enhance the importance of the message to reassure the person.

5. Co-operative:

– This part includes statements to provide meaning to a situation

Put it together and give Me an Example:

Sometimes, there are thunderstorms. I don’t like thunderstorms. When there is a thunderstorm I can take deep breaths, listen to music, or play on my iPad. Mom and Dad can snuggle with me if I am still scared. Thunder can be very loud and that is okay.

Is there an App for This? 

There are many apps used to create social stories! Some of my favorites include:

-I Get It., Inc. (has apps for different social stories for events and holidays, but you can also create your own!)

-Social Stories Creator and Library by TouchAutism

-Stories about Me


Elizabeth Miller