How to Write a Social Story?

Now that we know social story can help children gain better social understanding, how do we start one personalized social story for our own kids/learners?

Remember the types of sentences used in a successful social story?

Here we explain the simple concepts and examples for each of those sentences. 

Start to write a social story personalized for our child’s targeted behavior to promote effective learning!



Descriptive sentences

provides assumption-free information about special social situations like what the kid sees, who is involved, and what happens around him. “Sometimes I am upset when I find some of the school work very hard to do.”

Perspective sentences

describes the internal states of those who are involved to the given situation. “I feel like I do not want to do the work. I feel like playing instead.”

Directive sentences

includes information of what the kid can do in a positive manner. “I will raise my hand and ask ‘Can you please help me?’. I will also make comment like ‘I don’t understand this ‘ to ask for help.” 

avoid using “do not” in the sentences so that we don’t highlight their mistakes.

Affirmative sentences

expresses commonly shared opinions. “The teacher will think I am willing to learn if I ask for help. It is a good thing to do.” 

Cooperative sentences

suggests what other people will do to support the kid. “The teacher will be very proud of me and happy. She will help me if I ask”

Control sentences

 reminds the kid to use the skills taught in the story. “When the school work is hard, I will ask the teacher to help me.”

Guidelines on Telling a Social Story

  • Use it as a preparation for our kid to behave appropriately instead of using it as a punishment for inappropriate actions. Don’t read the story after the unexpected behavior to avoid causing the kid to dislike social story time. 
  • Read the story in a calm environment with the least possible distractions to ensure that the kid can absorb as much as he can from the story.
  • Make sure that the kid is in a good mood to read the story to him.
  • Role play of the social story can be very helpful for certain kids. Make his favorite puppet the ‘reader’ of the story. 
  • Include realistic pictures to grab his attention.
  • Introduce the story to other individuals who can help in that particular social situation and have them read it out to the kid. His teachers, friends, siblings, parents, etc.
  • Have a consistent schedule to read and review the story with the kid depending on how frequent he needs to be reminded. Every day in the morning after he arrives at the school, twice a day, any time you think an event may trigger him to act unexpectedly. 
  • Closely monitor if the social story is helpful to the kid and when needed, edit parts of the story to make it more effective. It may not work on all kids but it’s worth a try! 



Let us know in the comments below if these tips helped!

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