What are Social Stories?

Social stories link for going to grocery store

Download free social stories for children, to gain compliance or help individuals with autism signs or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) know what to expect and/or understand a certain situation, skill or concept. 

First defined by Carol Gray in 1991, they were created to help break down a task or social situation into smaller steps with descriptive words and pictures. They can help to prevent temper tantrums or meltdowns in public places or aggressive behavior in children.

They can be very useful for working with defiant children when trying to get them to do things/go places they typically refuse or resist. They also work well for telling your child about a new experience to provide relief for any anxiety related to an event.

Free Social Stories Examples

The free autism social story examples available include; going to the grocery store, going to the doctor, going to school, and riding the bus. However, all children can benefit from using a potty training story along with other valuable potty training tips.

Stories can be used for just about any event and are easily applied alone or in conjunction with a picture exchange communication systems (PECS). They can be made in the form of a book or a video as shown below. 

They also work well with a visual schedule that tells the child what to expect. You would start by reading the social story multiple times prior to encountering the event, then put together a schedule regarding the event and use that during your outing. When all are used in conjunction, meltdowns and tantrums are greatly reduced over time.

You can download a free story that has already been created or make your own with real pictures of things your child will recognize, helping them to be even more effective. 

3 examples of free social stories available to download

Potty Training Story

Using stories can be great for helping with toileting behavior in general, but are especially effective when potty training bowel movements

One mother I used to work with, was successful in getting her daughter to go within 1-2 months after writing a story about the events of her daughter’s day while using real pictures of the daughter.