Why are Social Stories Important?

Building Block’s Therapy Centre’s

Why are Social Stories Important?

By Maria Tzioni


A social story is a short description of a particular situation, event or activity, which includes detailed guidance for the right behaviour using text and visuals that explain the situation as well as the reason behind it.

Social stories were firstly introduced by Carol Gray in 90s as an attempt to construct a bridge of communication, to sooth from the shock of novelty, to explain explicitly a situation/ skill, to increase awareness of the existence of various perspectives rather than one, to help a person to cope with changes or unexpected distressing events, and to cope with an emotion(s) and many more.

Due to the guiding nature of social stories, children are able to enrich their understanding in topics which seem difficult to grasp verbally. Images along with the fully explanatory-simple text creates an open door towards mutual understanding.

But really why are they so important?

Stories are made to support children with difficulties in social understanding, within various novel or challenging situations. Many people with autism have visual learning preference. The provision of both pictures and simple text, simplify the situation, making it less difficult to understand and learn. The text which is carefully calibrated, targeted to guide the child/adult through the steps of the particular matter. Using social stories, we pass information in a literal ‘concrete’ way, which improves a person’s understanding of a previously challenging or ambiguous situation or activity.

Let’s simplify this. The social stories are important in:

  • Reaching understanding of situations

  • Clarifying situations where there is ambiguity and challenge

  • Helping the sequencing (what comes next in a series of activities) and executive functioning (planning and organising)

  • Providing information about what might happen in a particular situation along with some guidelines for behavior

  • Reducing anxiety

  • Introducing academic abilities self-care and social skills

In BBTC’s resources, we provide customised social stories for your child’s needs. Please contact us for more information.