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What is a social story why are they beneficial?

New experiences and environments can be tricky for children to navigate. However, the adults can support children learn how to manage their thoughts, feelings, and actions in different social situations, especially when using a social story.

Social stories are an easy, effective tool that adults can use to help children learn to adjust their behaviour and emotions according to the situation they’re in. There are multiple benefits to using social stories with children including:

  •       Clear Expectations.

Straightforward explanations with pictures can improve a child’s cooperation and engagement with a task/event.


  • Promoting Self-Regulation Skills.

A child’s ability to manage their emotions and behaviour is tied to fewer behavioural difficulties, higher resilience, and stronger academic performance.

  • Simple Sequencing.

Seeing image-based stories in order and hearing words like “first”, “next”, and “last” can help children to learn to sequence events.

  • Improved Social-Emotional Skills.

By explicitly talking about other people’s emotions, children can start to better understand how their actions affect others.

  • Developing Theory of Mind.

Children can learn to take the characters’ point of view, and this can encourage empathy.

  • Literacy Exposure.

Children’s narrative language skills can be improved by making the connection between real-life events and written stories.


Nicky has developed a range of simple social stories that can be used flexibly, allowing you to change the details and personalise the story.


How do I use a social story?

There's no right or wrong way to use a social story but here's our advice on how to get started using social stories with your child:

1: Find the social story that you want to use.

2: Read the social story with your child anywhere, anytime! Use the story as a guide for what to say and talk about.

3: Look at relevant photos/images on the internet or consider role-playing the scenario after reading the social story.

4: Re-read the story as many time as your child needs to review the event or skill you would like your child to learn and develop their understanding and decrease their anxiety.

Social Story - Periods

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