Social Stories for Success

By Martha Gladstone, M.Ed., CAS
Doctoral Student, Prevention and Intervention

As a kindergarten and first grade teacher, I welcomed children with ASD into my classroom for twenty years. To help my students navigate the often-confusing social world, I relied on the work of Carol Gray to help me design Social Stories. Parents of children with ASD also understand the importance of creating Stories not only for help in the moment, but also to prepare their child for an upcoming event that may cause anxiety, such as a trip to the dentist or attending a large family gathering.

Social Stories should be written in positive language from the first-person perspective for children (“I will try…”). Stories should be accurate, concise, appealing and appropriate for the age and understanding level of the person they are written for.

An online search lead me to many helpful websites:

Book cover: The New Social Story Book by Carol GrayGo to  for a Carol Gray Social Story Sampler that can be printed with colorful photographs in a picture book format or just read online with your child.

Check out www.child-autism-parent-café.com  and Future Horizons, Inc. at which has a bookstore full of resources.

 Look for the new 15th Anniversary Edition of The New Social Story Book by Carol Gray (about $29 on Amazon).

Read this example of a Social Story excerpted from The New Social Story Book, 15th Anniversary Edition by Carol Gray, Future Horizons, Inc.:

Sometimes my hands get dirty.  My hands touch items with germs all day long.  My hands touch doorknobs and pencils and many other things that have germs.  I can’t see or feel the germs on my hands.  That’s because germs are very, very tiny.  Even though I can’t see germs, soap and water sends them away.

This is a list of steps people follow when they wash their hands:

  • Go to the sink.
  • Turn the water on.
  • Get hands wet.
  • Put soap on hands.
  • Rub hands together.
  • Rinse hands with water.
  • Turn the water off.
  • Dry hands.

Washing my hands is a healthy habit.  I will try to follow these steps to wash my hands.