What are social stories?

In 1991, Carol Gray coined and trademarked the term “social stories.” It refers to a short, narrative-style description of a particular event or social scenario, broken down so that a neurotypical child may find it easier to understand.

After reading a social story, a child with autism or a related disorder will have a deeper understanding of a specific scenario that they may otherwise find daunting or overwhelming. They know what to expect going in, making the entire experience more pleasant.

Understanding Autism

When are social stories useful? 

As mentioned above, social stories provide children with useful context about a “new” situation or scenario they have not experienced before. For example, they could be used to help a child understand what will happen at their first dentist appointment, especially if they are in need of some kind of dental surgery. Alternatively, a social story about starting a new school could be useful if you have recently moved to a new town or neighborhood.

Why do children with autism benefit from social stories?

Children with autism often thrive in routine environments. When they know what to expect out of each day, they can prepare themselves accordingly. New situations, even “fun” ones, such as a playdate with a friend, are a clear deviation from the norm, which, for many, can therefore be challenging.

Social stories help to reduce their fears and anxieties surrounding this by taking the “unknown” out of the scenario. They provide them with a frame of reference that deepens their understanding of new social situations. As such, this can play a key role in encouraging children to broaden their horizons moving forward.

Where can I find social stories?

Many social stories are available for purchase online – and you can see some samples from Carol Gray here. However, many parents choose to curate their own social stories for their children so that they can be more directly tailored to their child or the situation they are trying to explain.

For example, when writing your own social story, you can include your child’s name or the name of others who may be involved, such as their doctor or pediatrician.

Final Thoughts.

Social stories are one of the more effective methodologies in place when it comes to preparing children with autism and related disorders to face new situations. Without them, children could feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed or may be more prone to adverse behavior and even meltdowns.

However, there are also many other ways in which you can ensure your child remains open to new experiences. For example, working with a therapist, such as an ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) therapist, can help a child to develop a range of lifeskills, ensuring that they are able to reach their full potential. Similar benefits can be obtained through other forms of preventative therapies, too, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy.

If you’d like to find out more about the therapy services we offer, please do not hesitate to get in touch today.






At Alee, we hope to use our expert knowledge to ensure that every child we are entrusted to work with at our autism clinic reaches their full potential, be that academic, personal or physical. Studies have shown that encouraging a child with autism to engage in sporting activities can have a range of health benefits. As well as promoting a healthier lifestyle, exercising can help improve a child’s mood, and help reduce hyperactivity or any frustration that they may be feeling. However, it is often difficult to find activities for children with autism to participate in that they will enjoy without feeling overwhelmed.

Right now, many of us have taken to exercising at home to ensure we stay fit during the current crisis. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of at home exercises/activities that will help you all stay fit and healthy!

4 Fitness Activities for Children with Autism

1) Obstacle Course

Build an obstacle course in your home/backyard! To do this, you can either rearrange your furniture or use chalk to design an assault course of your own. Keep it simple – perhaps by listing certain tasks at each stop such as jump, touch your toes, hop and more.

Obstacle courses are a great way to help your child learn to stick to a task while improving their ability to focus and follow instructions. It’s also a lot of fun!
Hiking/WalkingTeam sports are not always the best choice for children with autism, but that doesn’t mean they won’t enjoy exercising outdoors. Whether you are getting your daily exercise by walking down the street or venturing to a local park – walking can be a great way to stay fit.

2) Mirror Exercises

Stand opposite each other and take it in turns to perform an action which the other player copies – as though they were looking into the mirror. This can help them improve their communication skills and also their body awareness as it requires a lot of focus!

3) Yoga

Yoga is a fun, relaxing sport that you can participate in from the comfort of your own living room! Whether you follow an online tutorial or come up with your own exercising plan, yoga is a great way to help your child stay fit and healthy. Studies have shown that children with autism respond positively to yoga – due to the fact that it can help them feel relaxed and calm.

There are plenty of videos on youtube that feature specially designed programs or techniques for austic children wanting to participate in yoga! https://bit.ly/3esyBRN

4) Gymnastics

Gymnastics is another popular sport among children with autism. Simple gymnastic activities can help them improve their balance, communication skills and endurance. Furthermore, Gymnastics is a sport which allows them to be part of a team while continuing to work independently.

Finding the best exercise for children with autism

It is important that you ensure whatever activities you decide to participate in are right for your child. Each and every child is different, regardless as to whether or not they have autism, and as such, they have different interests, skills and capabilities. If your child is attending autism therapy – such as physical therapy, speech therapy or occupational therapy – your specialist will be able to give you some guidance in which activities may be best suited to your child. You can find out more about the services we offer here: https://www.aleebh.com/online-therapy-services/.

Any questions? Give us a call!


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