In this article, one of the proponents and originators of the use of social stories describes social stories and how they can help improve the behavior and learning of children with autism.
Using brief, simple descriptions of everyday social situations, social stories are used to teach children key information about social behavior that they might not pick up from daily experience. When writing a social story, the authors emphasize that it is crucial to use language at the childâ??s level of comprehension. Also, social stories should be written from the childâ??s point of view. It is important not to be too literal; the authors give the example that â??I will not talk in the libraryâ? could result in confusion when the child needs to ask a librarian a question. â??I will speak in a whisper in the libraryâ? is a better sentence. As the social story is read to the child and the childâ??s behavior begins to change, the story should be changed as necessary. If it becomes clear that a story has missed an important step in a behavior, the step can be made into an additional sentence in the story, and the story can be re-read to the child. The authors give several examples of social stories helping to reduce problem behaviors, make everyday social interactions more fluent, and teach academic skills.