Description: A story written according to specific guidelines to describe a situation in terms of relevant cues and common responses. Social stories are usually written for individual students, reflecting on the student’s perception of a situation.
Examples: Comic strip conversations, Thinking stories, or Story boxes
Research Summary: Preliminary evidence indicates that social stories may be effective in reducing problem behavior or improving adaptive behavior, particularly when used in conjunction with applied behavior analytic teaching methods. To benefit from this approach, individuals with autism spectrum disorders may need to be able to communicate in sentences that connect different ideas to each other.
Recommendations: An important area for future research is to evaluate social stories in studies with strong experimental designs. Professionals should present social stories as having limited scientific support, encourage families who are considering this intervention to use it in conjunction with other teaching methods, and recommend careful evaluation of the intervention.
Selected scientific studies:
Scattone, D., Tingstrom, D. H., & Wilczynski, S. M. (2006). Increasing appropriate social interactions of children with autism spectrum disorders using social stories. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21, 211-222.
Scattone, D., Wilczynski, S. M., & Edwards, R. P. (2002). Decreasing disruptive behaviors of children with autism using social stories. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 32, 535-543.
Thiemann, K. S., & Goldstein, H. (2001). Social stories, written text cues, and video feedback: Effects on social communication of children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 425-446.
Reynhout, G., & Carter, M. (2006). Social Stories for children with disabilities. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 36, 445-469.