What are Social Stories?
Social stories are like friendly guides that help students, especially those who might find social situations a bit tricky. They’re like step-by-step manuals that explain how to handle different social moments. The best part is that these stories make things easy to understand by breaking them down into simple parts.
One super important thing about social stories is that they show kids how to act in a way that fits with what’s expected in different situations. This includes many classroom and school situations, such as listening to the teacher, giving others personal space, asking a friend to play, and following the playground rules. The stories use pictures with words, which makes it easier for the child to understand, particularly young children, or children who are not yet able to read.
Are They Just for Students with Disabilities?
Put simply, Nope. While social stories are effective tools for supporting students with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental challenges, they can help any student who is struggling with social situations or emotional regulation. I do typically use these stories with students in Kindergarten through 3rd grade, however, more than older elementary students.
Benefits of Using Social Stories
One of the primary benefits is that social stories provide a structured and visual way to communicate social expectations and behavioral norms for a variety of behavioral challenges. These stories present information in a clear and sequential manner, breaking down situations into smaller manageable steps. This structure helps students better understand the context, expectations, and appropriate responses in various social situations.
Just CLICK HERE to See ALL of the Social Story options in the Counseling Fanny Pack of Fun store, or on any Social Story Pic if you are looking for one in particular!
Social Stories Work Because They Help Build EMPATHY
Social stories also contribute to the development of empathy and perspective-taking in students. Through narratives that explore diverse perspectives and emotions, students gain insight into the feelings and experiences of others. This increased empathy can lead to more positive and considerate social interactions. By fostering a greater understanding of different points of view, social stories contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and supportive social environment within schools.
A lot of my social stories stories try to appeal to the students’ self-interest as well, such as making friends, pleasing parents, or feeling proud. For example, “if you hit others, they might not want to play with you because you are acting dangerously.”
Social Stories Can Help Teach Emotional Regulation
Social stories can promote self-regulation and emotional management. This will help in decreasing behaviors in the classroom! By addressing common challenges and stressors in social and classroom situations, these stories equip students with coping strategies and problem-solving skills. Through repeated exposure to these stories, students can internalize these tools and apply them when faced with similar situations.
Yes, read the story more than once! Repeated, even daily, repetition of the story will help frontload the expectations of the desired behaviors for the child at the beginning of the school day, before any behaviors or stressors have happened.
How to use Social Story Coloring Books
Below are the different Social Story Coloring Books that I have created for a variety of students that I provide counseling for. When using these books with students, I will start by printing them out as a booklet. Then read the student the story and fill in his or her information when reading it in order to personalize the book. The student can also color the pictures as part of your counseling session or during break times in the classroom. Then read the story again with the student as often as you like…before going out to recess, in the mornings to start the day, or even send it home for parents to read with heir child.
If you are looking for a Social Story to address one of the topics below, just click on the picture and you will be able to learn more about the story and/or purchase it to use with your student or students.
Image by tonodiaz on Freepik