A new school year comes with new teachers, a new classroom, and potentially an entirely new school routine. We love using social stories as a strategy to help our students feel more prepared for new experiences! Social stories also encourage independence when children have a clear understanding of their routine. Read below for our tips on creating your child’s own social story:
Make it a group effort
Work with your child to create the social story - if they help draw/color and write the story, they will be excited to read it with you!
Keep it simple to allow for flexibility
Provide enough details to make each step in the routine clear, but leave room for slight changes to encourage flexibility (e.g., I will get on the bus vs. I will get on the bus at 7:01am)
Ask questions to ensure understanding and provide opportunities to discuss emotions
Do you brush your teeth before or after breakfast?
How do you feel when you see your friends at school?
Incorporate literacy skills
Give the story a title, indicate the author(s) and illustrator(s), and include page numbers
Use appropriate grammar while maintaining your child’s point of view
“I” vs. their name
Determine an appropriate time to read the social story (e.g., at nighttime)
As your child becomes more familiar and independent with their routine, it is not necessary to read the story as often, but make sure it remains accessible to them if they want to review it
We included some examples of social stories as well as access to free templates to guide you in creating your own: