Life Hacks for MWS families

Published August 1, 2021

Using social stories to prepare your child for a new experience

Does your child become anxious when experiencing new things? Social stories can be used to help familiarize your child with new experiences BEFORE they occur. A social story is a simple book that uses words and pictures to show what is going to happen, what something new looks like and what rules need to be followed. YouTube videos can also be used to prepare your child for a new experience. Social stories are like the visual schedule tool that was presented in last month’s email newsletter. The main difference between a visual schedule and a social story – is that a social story is precisely a story – and can be presented as a booklet. Generally, a social story introduces a new experience and explains why and how it will occur – with pictures. Parents and caretakers can read them much like any other book.

Carol Grey is credited with the development of social stories. She has received many awards for her work in promoting the education and welfare of children, adolescents, and adults with autism:  the Social Thinking’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2015), Learning Spring School’s Spectrum Award (2012), the Autism Society of America’s Education Book of the Year (for The New Social Story Book: Revised and Expanded 10th Anniversary Edition (2009), and the Barbara Lipinski Award (Lansing, Michigan, 2005). Her website provides in-depth information about social stories.

And Next Comes L provides a wonderful example of a social story for hand-washing

They provide other free printable social stories too!