Sensory Processing Disorder Social Stories

Social stories are individualized short stories that are highly affective for teaching children new skills. They teach children what is expected in social behaviors and different settings such as school, with friends, appointments or shopping. 

They are most commonly used for children with autism and other special needs such as difficulties with comprehension, developmental delays or those who struggle with social challenges, they can also be very beneficial to all children when explaining situations and changes. 

Social stories can teach children different skills. Using social stories everyday with events and situations will help your child so they don't find different situations confusing while also cutting down on your child's anxiety. 

sensory child holding social stories Sensory Processing Disorder Social Stories

A commonly used therapy tool called social stories are helping children with sensory differences and other developmental disorders. These stories are specifically designed to help children understand and navigate through situations that they may find challenging. Social stories have been proven to be highly effective in helping autistic children and kids who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sensory processing disorder. 

Social stories explain to children what changes may be happening in the future, how to do something new or could even explain a situation and how they could handle it appropriately. 
Social stories can be sometimes called different names such as social narratives, story-based interventions and social scripts too. 

Sensory Processing Disorder can cause challenges for children and make it difficult for them to engage in everyday tasks. Many children diagnosed with sensory processing disorder also have difficulty understanding social cues and behaviors, which can lead to social isolation and difficulties navigating social situations.

Social stories was first introduced in the 1990's by Carol Gray, a teacher and consultant for autistic students. Gray developed this method to improve social skills, communication, and understanding of social behaviors in autistic individuals. The use of social stories has since expanded and is now being used as a tool for children with various developmental disorders.

The purpose of social stories is to provide children with clear and concise information about social situations and appropriate ways to respond to them. These social stories include pictures and descriptive language to help children understand and process the information. The stories are customizable and can be tailored to each child’s specific needs and abilities.

When it comes to children with sensory differences, social stories are very valuable as they provide a visual representation of social situations.. The use of pictures, as well as simple and direct language, allows these children to understand social situations in a way that makes more sense to them. 

There are so many benefits to using social stories for children with sensory challenges. These stories can help children develop problem-solving skills, improve their communication and social skills, reduce anxiety in social situations, and increase their understanding of non-verbal cues. Social stories have also been shown to improve self-esteem and confidence in children by providing them with coping strategies for social situations.

Social stories are not just limited to children with developmental disorders. Children without any diagnosed disorders can also benefit from using this tool, especially when they are struggling to understand certain social situations or behaviors. Social stories have been used in schools as an effective way of teaching students about appropriate behaviors and social skills.

Social stories are now even more accessible to children and their families because there are several online resources who offer a wide variety of social stories that can be easily downloaded and customized for individual needs. Parents and teachers can also create their own social stories to fit specific situations and behaviors. 

Parents can make their own social stories for their children and they can be purchased online. When your child has been reading a social story it's important to remind them about the story the new skills they've learned from the story. When the child is successful, it's very important to reward them with a lot of encouragement and praise. 

Social stories have become an extremely valuable tool in helping children with sensory processing disorder and other developmental disorders navigate through challenging social situations. These stories provide a visual and descriptive representation of social behaviors that children may have difficulty understanding. U
sing social stories, children can improve their social skills, understand social cues and behaviors, and gain confidence in handling social situations. It is a highly effective and convenient tool that has positively impacted the lives of many children and their families.

If you would like to use social stories you can always consult with your child's phycologist or therapists for direction. 

A social story should have details about the situation, what usually happens in the situation and what behaviors are expected in that situation. This will help your child with difficult and challenging behaviors , while learning new skills. 

Social stories can be downloaded to their iPad, printed for them for at home or while they are out, they can be purchased, parents or therapists can make them too. They can be created in past, present or future tense. They can be custom made for certain situations made just for your child. Most social stories use illustrations because it's easier for some children to learn visually using step by step photos. 

Example Social Story: 

Social Stories 

The New Social Story Book, Revised and Expanded 15th Anniversary Edition: Over 150 Social Stories that Teach Everyday Social Skills to Children and Adults with Autism and their Peers
Since the early ‘90s, Carol Gray’s world-famous Social Stories have helped thousands of children with autism spectrum disorders. This 15th Anniversary Edition of her best-selling book offers ready-to-use stories that parents and educators have depended on for years―with new sections added! Additions include how to most effectively use and apply the stories, how to improve the lives of younger children, and Social Stories for teens and adults with autism. Developed through years of experience, these strategically written stories explain social situations in ways children and adults with autism understand while teaching social skills needed to be successful at home, school, work, and in the community.

My Social Stories Book
Over the last decade, Carol Gray's Social Stories approach has become established as a highly effective way of teaching social and life skills to children on the autism spectrum. Taking the form of short narratives, the Stories in My Social Stories Book take children step by step through basic activities such as brushing your teeth, taking a bath and getting used to new clothes. It also helps children to understand different experiences such as going to school, shopping and visiting the doctor. These stories are written for preschoolers aged from two to six, and the book is a useful primer for all young children - but most especially those on the autism spectrum.

My Social Stories Book contains over 150 Stories, and is illustrated throughout with line drawings by Sean McAndrew, which form a visual counterpart to the text. A helpful introduction explains to parents and carers how to get the most out of the book.

Here are some more helpful Sensory Processing Disorder Resources

DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional.

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