Social narratives for kids with autism: how to create narratives for practical use

Creating social narratives to help kids with autism

We already know that behavior is simply any action that can be observed and measured. And we’ve learned that ABA therapy can greatly help kids with autism. Part of ABA therapy is teaching new skills, and another part is discouraging undesirable behaviors. We’re going to focus on the teaching new skills part.

One thing your child’s ABA therapist might try is creating social narratives. You can do this at home, too. Social narratives are short stories that help a child with autism understand social situations. They are always individualized to the child. Depending on your child’s age and understanding, you can make these narratives visual (with a poster, chart, or illustration), or you can write them down (Step 1, Step 2, and so on).

How to write social narratives:

Determine an area or situation for which your child could use help.

Let’s use playing with other children as an example. If your child experiences social anxiety, uncertainty, or stress when a situation arises in which he wants to play with other children (or is expected to play with other children), you and he can create a social narrative–aka, a game plan–for when this happens.

Create a title for your social narrative.

We’ll call this narrative ‘playtime’.

Create three parts to your social narrative.

Part 1 is your introduction. Your introduction should be simple and to the point. “Sometimes at recess, I want to join a game other kids are playing.”

Part 2 is the body of your story. This is the part where you identify the steps your child can take and the challenges that may arise. “I can ask, ‘Can I play? If they say yes, I will have fun, and I will follow the rules the kids have already set up. If they say no, that’s okay, too.’

Part 3 is the conclusion. ‘If the kids say no, I can play on my own, or I can ask other kids to play with me.’

Tips for creating your narrative:

  • Be sure to be descriptive and specific. You can create additional narratives for other social situations, so resist the urge to create one generalized narrative that will work for multiple situations. You may be able to use a generalized strategy as a blueprint for many situations, but your child may not be able to.
  • Be sure that the narrative puts your child’s point-of-view at the forefront. For example: ‘I see the kids playing. I want to join.’ Older kids can do well with narratives that add other people’s perspectives: ‘The kids already have a game in progress, but they might want more people to join.’ Or, ‘The kids have already set the rules for this game. They probably don’t want me to change them.’
  • Always write in the first-person, and in the present tense.

Like what you’re learning? Pin it for later!

social narratives

Related Posts

You may be interested in these posts from the same category.

Contact Us

Subscribe for More Info