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Social Stories

What is a Social Story?

Social Stories are fabulous tools for teaching social skills to ALL children and adults with special needs. ANYONE who is having difficulty in a social situation can benefit from using a social story to learn more about that social situation and how to respond appropriately.

Social stories can be used to:

  • prepare someone for new events and experiences – ex: moving to a new house
  • to teach positive behavior - ex: when going out shopping with parent
  • to teach a new skill - ex: how to wash your hands
  • to help a person to cope with changes to routine and unexpected or distressing events (e.g., absence of teacher, moving house, thunderstorms)
  • to provide positive feedback to a person about an area of strength or achievement in order to develop self-esteem


How to make a social story?

  • determine the behavior you want to change or develop
  • select one behavior at a time
  • write the story in the first person
  • if possible, include drawings or photographs of the social event
  • have the person participate in the development of the social story
  • describe the situation that presents difficulty
  • explain why a behavior is unacceptable by describing the desired behavior
  • end the social story with a description of the acceptable behavior

Note: Any specific product, company, or vendor that appears on this site is for information only, and does not represent an endorsement by the Cuyahoga County Board of DD.

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Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities
1275 Lakeside Avenue East
Cleveland, Ohio 44114-1129
PHONE: (216)241-8230 - FAX: (216)861-0253