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Social Stories Part 1

================================================= (TM) "A Resource for Persons Dealing with ASD" Newsletter No. 2 Lee Irwin, Ph.D. ( ================================================= ================================================= A newsletter for parents, siblings and friends of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as ASD persons themselves. The newsletter provides information, support, and resources to broaden understanding and improve coping skills. =================================================

Newsletter #2: Powerful, Effective Social Stories

A social story is one in which the characters demonstrate a bit of appropriate behavior. Generally, the behavior is one that the child-listener (or child-reader) needs to learn or improve. A good social story sets the stage for the targetted appropriate behavior.

The power of a social story to help your child is directly related to how well your child fits into the story. You can help your child buy into the story by using some of the following strategies.

Make your child the main character -- Use childs name, nickname, or silly personal name. For example, call your child Prince [name] or Queen [name]. EXAMPLE: When it was time for "Princess Busy Beth" to go to bed, ...

Personalize the story so that your child feels at home -- Include family pets and favorite objects, if appropriate to the story. Include props that your child recognizes. EXAMPLE: Princess Busy Beth ran to get a treat for her dog, Patches.

Be specific about the setting(s) in the story -- Describe scenes that your child is familiar with. The classroom, the family car, the bedroom, the local McDonald's are specific settings. EXAMPLE: Princess Busy Beth always wiped the mud off her shoes. Sometimes she had so much mud that the W-E-L-C-O-M-E mat at her back door only said C-O-M-E when she was done.

Be specific in describing other characters in the story -- If your child might focus on another character (rather than on the one that represents him/her), then it might facilitate learning to invent other characters who behave appropriately. EXAMPLE: Jackie always rides the school bus with Princess Busy Beth. When Jackie gets on the bus, Princess Busy Beth says, "Jackie, come here and sit with me." Jackie says, "Okay."

Write actual, realistic dialog appropriate to the ability of the target child --- Don't write *about* what needs to be learned == have the characters *do* what needs to be learned. EXAMPLE: Princess Busy Beth rubbed her shoes very hard on the mat. She looked to make sure her shoes were clean all over. Then she went into the house. The King and Queen said, "How nice your shoes look. Will you tell us how you got so much mud off your shoes?" Busy Beth said, "I rubbed them very hard on the mat. I looked to make sure my shoes were all clean before I came inside."

Repeat the important points in the story -- The above example about wiping dirty shoes off before entering the house follows up with the main character describing what s/he had just done. In a full story, the problem may have been described near the beginning of the story. Next, the child might have figured out the solution s/he was going to use.

Involve your child when you write the story -- Ask, "What happens next?" or similar questions. Take dictation. Remember, you can still edit the final version of the story before publishing it. (And you can re-edit at any time, if you identify helpful changes.)

Have the target child illustrate the story with drawings -- Artistic ability is irrelevant. Some parents prefer to illustrate the story themselves. Photographs and magazine pictures are appropriate for some stories, e.g., for riding the school bus or ordering at a fast-food restaurant.

When using social stories for learning, expose the child to the story frequently -- A well-crafted social story with the child as main character is usually attractive to the young child. Older children may be more motivated by the opportunity to learn a skill. In some cases, a school-related story might be made part of homework (and perhaps the teacher would be willing to endorse this plan).

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Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 15:38:15 -0500

From: Alison Cassorla <alisonc@TEXAS.NET>

Subject: Re: Writing Social Stories

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Hi Jennifer and others that are interested;

I saw Carol Gray in Austin, TX this year and thought she was great! I

highly recommend seeing her if you ever get the chance!

Social Stories are difficult to write! You need to keep some very

specific thing in mind when you write them. For instance:

1. Always keep the POSITIVE! Try not to use the words NOT, NEVER,

ALWAYS, etc. No one expects you or your child to be perfect and

always do things right!

2. They should be VERY specific on what you are trying to teach. Try to

keep to ONE topic per social story.

3. The following is taken from The Social Story Book 1994 by Jenison

Public School:

Chewing Gum

Sometimes I chew gum.

I only chew one piece at a time.

I take it out of the wrapper and put it in my mouth.

I chew my gum with my mouth closed.

I leave my gum in my mouth while I am chewing it.

When my gum has no more flavor, I take it out of my mouth and put it

in the wastebasket. Sometimes, before I put my gum in the

waste basket, I put it in a tiny piece of paper ot tissue.

Social Stories are comprised if four types od sentences: descriptive,

perspective, directive, and control sentences.

I have a copy of this book. My daughter's speech therapist lent it to

me. Maybe you can borrow a copy. Or, you can write them and order your


Mine is published by Future Education

424 Lamar Blvd. East, Suite #102

Arlington, TX 76011 (817) 277-0727

I am not associated with either Carol Gray or Future Education!

I hope this helps!

Alison Cassorla

Date: Wed, 11 Aug 1999 12:44:04 -0700

From: Terri Mykland <tmykland@MINDSPRING.COM>

Subject: Re: Writing social stories

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Responsibility for posts to this list lies entirely with the original author.



Your social stories seem to cover very appropriate topics, but just as

feedback to you, they seem a little 'directive' to me. Carol Gray states

that a social story needs 0-1 Directive Sentence(s) for every 2-5

descriptive and/or perspective sentences. I think that most social stories

I have seen and written start out with a descriptive or perspective

sentence, not a directive one, and try to phrase any directives about the

desired behavior in very positive terms if possible, i.e. I WILL ____

rather than I WILL NOT ___. The idea is to really explain what is going on

and how others feel, and WHY the behavior is/is not helpful, not just to

say to the child "you should/should not do x". One more comment: the

language level seemed just a tad sophisticated to me. I don't know your

child, of course, but it seemed a little more conceptual and less concrete

than I would write for my son who is six. The sentences seemed a little

long, just my opinion of course.

Here's an example from Carol's book that may help give you the concrete,

explanatory and mostly non-directive tone she suggests:

There are a lot of times that I have to be a good listener.

We all have to be a listener at certain times. We need to listen in a lot

of different ways.

I listen to my teacher, parents or friends when they talk to me. I listen

very close and if I don't understand I ask nicely for them to tell me again.

It is important to listen when people are telling me things. It is also

very important to listen when my teachers are trying to teach me something new.

When I listen I try to be still. I try to wait to talk until the person I

am talking with is finished speaking.

When I listen, I think about what the person is saying.

Good luck,

Terri in Santa Cruz

mom to Zane, 6yo hfa

(also learning social story writing still)================================================= Date: Mon, 4 Mar 1996 21:46:56 +3

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From: janet norman-bain <jjbain@ISN.NET>

Organization: Island Services Network

Subject: (Fwd) Social Stories(long)

To: Multiple recipients of list AUTISM <AUTISM@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU>

Social Stories

Many persons with autism have deficits in social cognition, the

ability to think in ways necessary for appropriate social interaction.

For example, theory of mind describes the difficulty autistic

individuals have in assuming the perspective of another person. This

can be addressed by a technique which is used to help individuals with

autism 'read' and understand social situations. This technique, called

'Social Stories,' presents appropriate social behaviors in the form of

a story. It was developed by Carol Gray and seeks to include answers

to questions that autistic persons may need to know to interact

appropriately with others (for example, answers to who, what, when,

where, and why in social situations).

There are four types of sentences used in social stories: descriptive,

directive, perspective, and control. Descriptive sentences describe

what people do in particular social situations. They are used to

describe a social setting, step-by-step directions for completing an

activity, etc. Directive sentences direct a person to an appropriate

desired response. They state, in positive terms, what the desired

behavior is. Given the nature of the directive sentence, care needs to

be taken to use them correctly and not to limit the individual's

choice. The greater the number of descriptive statements, the more

opportunity for the individual to supply his/her own responses to the

social situation. The greater the number of directive statements, the

more specific the cues for how the individual should respond.

A third type of sentence used in social stories is the perspective

sentence. This type of sentence presents others' reactions to a

situation so that the individual can learn how others' perceive

various events. The final type of sentence is the control sentence.

This sentence identifies strategies the person can use to facilitate

memory and comprehension of the social story. Thus, these sentences

are added by the individual after reviewing the social story.

Carol Gray developed the social story ratio which defines the

proportion of directive or control sentences to descriptive and/or

perspective sentences. She suggests that for every one directive or

control sentence, there should be two to five descriptive and/or

perspective sentences. Directive or control sentences may be omitted

entirely depending on the person and his/her needs.

Examples of each type of sentence are presented below.

Descriptive Sentence

The bell rings for the children to come in from recess. The

children go to their classroom where the teacher reads a story.

Directive Sentence

I am playing during recess. The bell rings for me to come in. I

stop playing and line up to come in. I follow the other children

and quietly go to the classroom. When we get to the classroom, I

go to my desk and sit down. I listen as my teacher reads a story.

Perspective Sentence

When the bell rings for recess to end, the teacher is happy to

see all the children line up quietly and walk to their classroom.

Many children are excited that they get to hear a story. The

teacher likes to see the children listen. The teacher likes it

when children are quiet during the story.

Control Sentence

I remember that the bell means it's time for recess to end by

thinking of a teapot. I know that when it whistles, the water is

done. The bell is like the whistle; when it rings, recess is


As can be seen, the statements in the stories vary depending on the

purpose of the story. Also, it is important to observe the person for

whom the story will be written and to consider his/her perspective in

deciding what to include. However, the individual's feelings should

never be assumed since the author of the story may be incorrect in

his/her assumptions.

There are a number of ways a social story can be implemented. For a

person who can read, the author introduces the story be reading it

twice with the person. The person then reads it once a day

independently. For a person who cannot read, the author reads the

story on an audiotape with cues for the person to turn the page as

he/she 'reads' along. These cues could be a bell or verbal statement

when it is time to turn the page. The person listens and 'reads' along

with the story once a day. Once the autistic individual successfully

enacts the skills or appropriately responds in the social situation

depicted, use of the story can be faded. This can be done by reducing

the number of times the story is read a week and only reviewing the

story once a month or as necessary. Fading can also be accomplished by

rewriting the story, gradually removing directive sentences from the


Social stories are useful for helping individuals with autism learn

appropriate ways to interact in social situations. They can be

individualized to incorporate the specific needs of the person for

whom the story is written. They can teach routines, how to do an

activity, how to ask for help, and how to respond appropriately to

feelings like anger and frustration. While studies are currently

assessing the effectiveness of social stories, they appear to be a

promising method for improving the social behaviors of autistic


For additional information about social stories, contact:

Carol Gray

Consultant to Students with Autism

Jenison Public Schools

8375 20th

Jenison, WI 49428

You can also call her at

(616) 457-8955 or fax at

(616) 457-4070.

Revised 8/95

Written by:

Stephen Edelson, Ph.D.

Center for the Study of Autism

Beaverton, OR 97005


c1995, Copyright information

This document is also available in ASCII text

Using social stories to teach social and behavioral skills

to children with autism.

This article describes the use of social-story intervention programs to teach appropriate social

behavior to 3 children with autism. The procedures used in these interventions combined

social-story methodology with a more traditional behavioral social-skills training strategy.

Procedures and suggestions for successfully developing, implementing, and evaluating social-story

intervention programs are also provided.

Behavioral excesses and social deficits almost always characterize children and youth with autism

(Wing, 1978). Although these problems are pervasive, children and youth with autism can show

improved behavior and social skills when provided appropriate antecedent conditions and other

planned intervention programs (Donnellan & Kilman, 1986; Matson, 1994; Strain, 1983).

In accordance with structuring antecedent conditions and interventions to accomplish desired social

outcomes, a number of social-skills training programs have been developed, the majority of which

are based on environmental and task analyses, an evaluation of situations and contingencies related

to deficit behaviors, and the identification of a sequence of steps needed to acquire new or

replacement behaviors (Simpson & Regan, 1988; Vanhasselt, Hersen, Whitehall, & Bellack,

1979). Although these traditional approaches have been associated with numerous successes, they

fail to effectively address the individual needs of every child with autism (as does any single

method). Hence the need for additional strategies that address the social-skill needs of individuals

with autism; these innovative methods should be combined, whenever possible, with more

traditional approaches.

One novel method for teaching social skills involves the use of social stories (Gray & Garand,

1993). Indeed, social stories have been successfully used with a variety of children and youth with

autism who present with a variety of social and behavioral needs (Gray, 1994). However, there is

a paucity of specific information that would guide practitioners in designing and implementing

social-story programs. Thus, this investigation was designed to assess the effectiveness of using

social stories to teach appropriate social behavior to three children with autism when this

innovative method was combined with a more traditional approach (Simpson & Regan, 1988). We

also offer suggestions for writing social stories and for determining the effectiveness of

social-story intervention programs.

A social story describes social situations in terms of relevant social cues and appropriate social

responses. In addition, it is individualized for each person and typically comprises two to five

sentences. Sentence types include (a) descriptive -- information about the setting, subjects, and

actions; (b) directive -- statements about the appropriate behavioral response; (c) perspective -

sentences describing the feelings and reactions of others in the targeted situation; and (d)

control--analogies of similar actions and responses utilizing nonhuman subjects; for example, a

turtle takes his time by moving slowly from place to place (Gray, 1994; Gray & Garand, 1993).

Social-Story Book Construction

With regard to the present investigation, individualized social stories were developed for 3 children

with autism. Each social story was written in a book format that consisted of a front cover and

five story pages. The cover and story pages were 6 inches x 8 1/2 inches, cut from manila file

folders and bound together along the left side with 3/8- inch red plastic spiral binders. The front

cover was plain except for the title, which was centered in the top third of the page. Each page

contained one or two sentences and a corresponding photo or icon. Sentences were typed in

12-point Geneva and were printed in black ink on white paper. Each sentence was cut out and

pasted on a page, leaving approximately a half-inch border around all sides. The sentences were

accompanied by photographs or 2-inch x 2-inch black-and-white verb icons depicting the desired

behavior. Icons were centered, approximately 2 inches from the top of each page.

Investigation Setting

The 3 children who participated in this study attended a self-contained laboratory classroom for

children and youth with autism housed within the special education department of a large state

university medical center. Because of the severity of their behaviors, these students had been

placed in this restrictive educational setting, which was designed to be only temporary. That is, as

students' behavior improved in the laboratory classroom, they were transitioned back into their

respective public school settings.

The program's classroom teacher and paraprofessional, along with four graduate students working

in the classroom, implemented the social- story interventions with the 3 students. Each of the

implementers had known the students for a minimum of 2 months prior to the study. Interventions

were based on a combination of social stories and the social-skill intervention model advocated by

Simpson and Regan (1988). This traditional approach, involving environmental and task analyses,

evaluation of situations and contingencies related to deficit behaviors, and identification of a

sequence of steps needed to acquire new or replacement behaviors, is described in Table 1.

Participant 1: Danielle

Danielle was an 11-year-old girl diagnosed with autism. She had some expressive language skills

but was extremely difficult to understand. She adhered rigidly to a picture schedule of daily

classroom activities and did not adapt well to changes in routine. In addition, she had a history of

physical aggression, including pulling hair, scratching, and squeezing arms. Although the factors

maintaining her aggressive behavior were not discernible, the inappropriate behaviors were

exhibited in a variety of settings. Of particular concern to the classroom teacher was Danielle's

aggressive and overly friendly behavior toward others, both familiar and unfamiliar, during

greeting opportunities. For example, her teacher reported that she often ran up and hugged

strangers or pulled the hair of adults who did not respond to her hugs. On occasion, she combined

these responses; that is, she would first hug a stranger and then pull his or her hair.

An environmental analysis revealed that Danielle had many opportunities to interact with others

during the school day. For example, because her classroom sewed as a training site for special

education graduate students, practicum students and supervisors were in her room throughout the

day. In addition, Danielle had opportunities to interact with those same individuals in numerous

situations outside the classroom, as well as with employees and patrons of the medical center

complex; for example, due to the locations of the restroom and cafeteria, she had to [ravel

throughout the special education office suite and through various wings of the hospital,

respectively. Furthermore, Danielle' s class engaged in weekly community outings for shopping,

dining, and/or recreation, which provided her with even more occasions to be around unfamiliar


When Danielle approached people for hugs, they typically responded by returning the embrace,

thereby reinforcing her behavior. However, Danielle controlled the encounters: When individuals

tried to move on, she often grabbed for them and/or started screaming.

In light of the number of opportunities Danielle had to interact with others, as well as of the

classroom teacher's concern over Danielle' s inappropriate social responses, appropriate greeting

behavior was targeted for intervention. The social validity of teaching an acceptable manner for

greeting others is demonstrated in the fact that appropriate behavior increases opportunities to

function in normalized environments (e.g., Misra, 1992; Soodak, 1990). Moreover, Danielle's

safety, and/or the safety of others, was jeopardized each time she interacted with someone

unknown to her.

Target Greeting Behaviors

Danielle's greeting responses were grouped into four categories: greets, touches, aggresses, and

ignores. Each category was defined as follows:

Greets. Danielle acknowledged the presence of an individual by verbalizing "Hi" and/or raising her

hand to wave, while maintaining a distance of at least 3 feet between herself and the other


Touches. This behavioral category was noted whenever Danielle failed to maintain a distance of at

least 3 feet between herself and another individual. Included in this category were nonthreatening

touches to an individual's upper body (e.g., hugging, placing hands to shoulders, touching a

person's earrings, stroking hair). The "upper body" comprises the area between an individual's

waist and head, including his or her hands and arms.

Aggression. This behavior was defined as Danielle violating the 3 foot perimeter between herself

and the other individual and initiating a threatening or aggressive touch (e.g., pulling hair, hitting

with a dosed or open fist, aggressively grabbing at a person's body or clothing, pulling at an

individual's accessories). The boundaries of aggression were expanded to include a touch to an

individual's private body areas (i.e., below the waist).

Ignores. This behavior was defined as Danielle's failure to respond to a greeting or the presence of

another individual (e.g., continuing to work on a classroom task after being greeted by a visitor to

the classroom, turning away from the person).

Baseline data were collected on the aforementioned behaviors, to (a) validate the classroom

teacher's concerns, (b) gather specific information about how Danielle responded to various

greeting opportunities, and (c) determine if a relationship existed between the setting (who and

where) and her behavior. Included in the observations was Danielle' s percentage of appropriate

greetings initiated (i.e., number of appropriate greetings divided by number of greeting


The classroom teacher served as the primary observer. If more than one behavior was

demonstrated during a single greeting opportunity, the least desirable response was used to

describe the behavior. For example, if Danielle hugged and scratched another individual, the

incident was scored as an aggressive response.

Social-Story Greeting Intervention

Danielle's social story was entitled "Danielle's Greeting Book." The story incorporated one

descriptive and four directive statements. The first page of the story included photographs of three

people at school who were appropriate to hug: her teacher, the bus driver, and a secretary in the

office adjacent to her classroom. Figure 1 depicts the story skeleton used with Danielle.

After training the classroom staff on the intervention procedures, the classroom teacher read the

social story to Danielle one time each morning. The staff assisted in implementing the program by

letting individuals know when Danielle approached them, that she was involved in a greeting

program that included her waving and saying "hi." They also provided the verbal prompt "wave

and say 'hi'" or used physical redirection paired with the verbal prompt if Danielle moved within 5

feet of an individual not pictured on the first page of her social story-book.

Results. Baseline data were collected for 9 days on the various behaviors associated with Danielle's

program, during all school activities and in all settings. The baseline phase represented 119

greeting opportunities. Of the 119 incidents, 8 (7%) were judged to be appropriate (if hugs were

counted as appropriate behavior, 18 out of 119 greeting opportunities, or 15%, were scored as

appropriate); 98 out of the 119 (82%) involved touches; 11 (9%) were judged to be aggressive; and

there were no occasions in which Danielle ignored others. Observations failed to reveal a

relationship between the setting in which the greeting opportunity occurred and Danielle's


Figures 2 and 3 show the results of Danielle's intervention program. Of the 77 opportunities to

greet during the intervention phase, 57 (74%) were judged to be appropriate. Touches decreased to

26%, and there were no occasions during which she was aggressive.

Aggression Intervention Program

Danielle's expressive language appeared to function primarily as a means of protesting and

regulating others' behavior. She also used one-word utterances to elicit scripted conversations with

familiar adults. An example of a scripted conversation occurred when Danielle asked for gum:

Individuals who were familiar with the routine responded by saying "No gum at school," or "Tell

your More you want gum." If a different response was given or if a piece of gum was offered,

Danielle responded in an aggressive manner, as previously defined. The majority of Danielle's

aggressive behaviors occurred when those around her did not understand what she was trying to

say or did not respond in accordance with the scripted response.

The front cover of Danielle's second social story was entitled "How I Earn a Cola." It was

accompanied by a picture of a bottle of cola. Each story page contained one to two sentences that

incorporated an assortment of the following: one descriptive, one perspective, and four directive

statements. The story outlined appropriate behaviors Danielle could utilize when she became upset.

It also described the reactions of individuals around her when she exhibited appropriate social


The intervention program, which was designed to decrease Danielle' s aggressive episodes,

consisted of a social story paired with a response- cost system. Specifically, the teacher had

determined that Danielle was strongly motivated by cola drinks and social praise. The social story

(shown in Figure 4), which was written to explain expected behavior during times when Danielle

was upset, was read to her by the classroom teacher once each morning.

The response-cost system consisted of five icons of cola cans placed on a picture chart in Danielle's

classroom. Danielle was told that the icons could be traded for cola and that she would lose one

cola can each time she became aggressive. It was also explained to her that if she had at least one

cola picture left on her chart at snack time, this would earn her a can of cola to drink with her

snack, These directions were continually reviewed with Danielle during the reading of the social

story, and periodically throughout the day.

Results. Staff conducted baseline assessments over a 51-day period throughout the 6-hour school

day by making tally marks on a data sheet following each episode of aggression. Preintervention

data revealed a range of 0 to 19 occurrences of aggression per day, with 0 incidents occurring on

only one occasion.

Figures 5 and 6 illustrate the effects of the combined social story and response-cost intervention

program on the frequency of Danielle' s aggressive behaviors. As can be seen, the number of

aggressive episodes decreased in range from 0 to 14 occurrences per day, with 0 episodes

occurring on 8 separate occasions.

Subjects 2 and 3: Adam and Darrell

Adam, the second participant in the study, was a 7-year-old boy diagnosed as having a pervasive

developmental disorder. He used some expressive language but was difficult to understand. For

example, he often mumbled or dropped the final syllable or consonant of a word. Adam preferred

solitary play and tended to ignore others around him. When a peer approached, he frequently

screamed or had a tantrum. When instructed to participate in a nonpreferred activity, he often

screamed, hit, kicked, head butted, and head banged.

Darrell, Participant 3, was a 7-year-old male student diagnosed with autism. Darrell's language

consisted primarily of echolalia. Most of the phrases he used related to food, familiar fast-food

restaurant menus, or items listed in the phone book. Darrell's social interactions consisted primarily

of attempting to choke others or knock them down.

Target Social Behaviors

The behaviors targeted for Adam and Darrell were related to sharing materials. Preintervention

observations revealed that neither of them was adept at interactive play; rather, they were both

prone to aggression and screaming when approached by another person. Thus, the following target

behaviors were selected: sharing, parallel play, aggression, and grabbing. Sharing was defined as

giving a requested item to another student; parallel play was operationally identified as Adam or

Darrell staying with his peer group for 15 minutes, or leaving the group and returning within I

minute; aggression included any physical assault directed toward another student during the

interactive session; screaming was defined as a sudden, loud, shrill noise emitted by either child;

and grabbing occurred when Darrell grabbed materials from another child.

Social-Story Intervention to Encourage Sharing

The front cover of Adam's story displayed a sharing icon, which consisted of one person giving an

object to another person. Placed directly above the icon was the word share. The icon was enclosed

within a box, with Adam's name centered above it and the word sharing centered below the box.

As shown in Figure 7, the story utilized three descriptive statements and one directive statement.

Darrell's social story was identical to Adam's, except that the former consisted of three descriptive

and two directive statements. Darrell's story is shown in Figure 8.

Adam's and Darrell's teacher and/or paraprofessional read the social stories outlined in Figures 7

and 8 individually to each child once each morning. The teacher and paraprofessional collected data

on the aforementioned target behaviors during a time when the students were permitted to play with

various toys and games in their classroom.

Results. Baseline data for Adam were collected over a period of 10 days. Adam did not show

aggression during 7 of the 10 (70%) sessions, and he exhibited parallel play during 8 of 10 (80%)

sessions. However, he failed to share during 100% of the sessions and screamed during 100% of

the sessions.

Following implementation of the social-story intervention program, 18 days' data were collected.

During that time, Adam did not show aggression during 17 of the 18 (94%) sessions. Moreover,

on 17 of 18 opportunities, or 94% of the sessions, he exhibited parallel play. He also voluntarily

shared his toys during 4 of 18 (22%) sessions. Finally, on 10 of 18 (56%) occasions he screamed

during the play period. Comparisons of pre- and post-social-story interventions for Adam are

shown in Figure 9.

Baseline data for Darrell were also collected over a period of 10 days. Darrell did not show

aggression and behaved appropriately during 8 of 10 (80%) sessions. Parallel play was

documented to have occurred during 8 of 10 (80%) sessions. Sharing behavior was not evidenced

during the 10 sessions, and on 100% of the sessions he was observed to grab.

During the 17 days of postintervention observations, Darrell did not show aggression, and he

engaged in parallel play on 16 of 17 (94%) days. He independently shared during 6 of 17 (35%)

sessions; and on 6 of 17 (35%) opportunities he grabbed toys from another child. Data for Darrell

are displayed in Figure 10.


The studies presented here provide support for the use of social stories with children with autism.

The use of this technique in combination with a traditional social skills training model (and, in the

case of one child, a response-cost intervention) increased the subjects' appropriate behavior and

reduced behavioral excesses. The interventions presented here do not purport to stand up to

rigorous experimental design standards (e.g., Campbell & Stanley, 1963); instead, these informal

classroom-based studies were structured to be teacher-friendly and to produce functional changes

in children's social behaviors that would allow them to transition from a laboratory school to a less

restrictive public school setting. Thus, decisions such as the one not to return to a baseline

condition were deliberately made; that is, school staff were not asked to endure a return to baseline

that in all likelihood would have resulted in the students' exhibiting increased inappropriate


In their guidelines for social story use, Gray (1994) and Gray and Garand (1993) stated that these

stories are most appropriate for students who are considered higher functioning. These authors

suggested a specific format (e.g., presenting the entire story on one piece of paper), without use of

visual stimuli. In addition, Gray and Garand cautioned that to be most effective, social stories

should be individually structured for students. In this study we expanded and/or altered some of

Gray' s guidelines, in an attempt to reach a wider audience of children with autism and to evaluate

their responses to what has previously been considered an advanced procedure for influencing

social behaviors (see Appendix).

Students who participated in this study fell within the spectrum of having moderate to severe

autism and pervasive developmental disabilities. Because of the children's functioning level,

several modifications in the social stories were made. First, the stories were presented in a

book-like format, with one sentence and an accompanying icon presented on each page. This

allowed students to process one concept at a time. Icons were presented because it is well

documented that students with autism respond positively to visual representations (MacDuff,

Krantz, & McClannahan, 1993; Pierce & Schreibman, 1994). Finally, the concept of using

individually presented social stories within the context of a small group (i.e., with Adam and

Darrell) was introduced. Adam and Darrell shared a similar social story, which was individually

presented to enhance social behaviors within a dyad.

There is no question that future research is needed to further validate the effectiveness of using

social stories with children with autism. Indeed, the exact role the social stories played in

enhancing subjects' social skills, in relation to other variables, is unclear. Nonetheless, based on

preliminary findings, it appears that this technique may have utility in individual and group settings

for students with autism who function at a variety of levels.

Campbell, D., & Stanley, J. (1963). Experimental designs and quasi- experimental designs for

research. Chicago: Rand McNally.

Donnellan, A. M., & Kilman, B. A. (1986). Behavioral approaches to social skill development in

autism: Strengths, disapplications, and alternatives. In E. Schopler & G. B. Mesibov (Eds.),

Social behavior in ant/sin (pp. 213-236). New York: Plenum.

Gray, C. (1994, October). Making sense out of the world: Social stories, comic strip

conversations, and related instructional techniques. Paper presented at the Midwest Educational

Leadership Conference on Autism, Kansas City, MO.

Gray, C. A., & Garand, J. D. (1993). Social stories: Improving responses of students with

autism with accurate social information. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 8(1), 1-10.

MacDuff, G. S., Krantz, P. J., & McClannahan, L. E. (1993). Teaching children with autism to

use photographic activity sheets: Maintenance and generalization of complex response chains.

Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 8997.

Matson, J. L. (1994). Autism in children and adults. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Misra, A. (1992). Generalization of social skills through self-monitoring by adults with mild

mental retardation. Exceptional Children, 58, 495-507.

Pierce, K. C., & Schreibman, L. (1994). Teaching daily living skills to children with autism in

unsupervised settings through pictorial serf-management. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis,

27, 471-481.

Simpson, R.L., & Regan, M. (1988). Management of autistic behavior. Austin, TX: PRO-ED.

Soodak, L.C. (1990). Social behavior and knowledge of social scripts among mentally retarded

adults. American Journal of Mental Retardation, 94, 515-521.

Strain, P. (1983). Generalization of autistic children's social behavior change: Effects of

developmentally integrated and segregated settings. Analysis and Intervention in Developmental

Disabilities, 3, 23-24.

Vanhasselt, V. B., Hersen, M., Whitehall, M. B., & Bellack, A. S. (1979). Social skill

assessment and training for children: An evaluative review. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 23,


Wing, L. (1978). Social, behavioral, and cognitive characteristics: An epidemiological approach.

In M. Rutter & E. Schopler (Eds.), Autism: A reappraisal of concepts and treatment (pp. 27-45).

New York: Plenum.


Steps for Writing a Social Story and Determining Its Effectiveness

Gray (1994) identified several uses of social stories: (a) describing a situation, including social

cues and responses, in a nonthreatening manner; (b) personalizing social skills instruction; (c)

teaching routines or helping students adjust to changes in routine; (d) teaching academic material in

a realistic social setting, thereby assisting in generalization; and (e) addressing myriad behaviors,

such as aggression, obsessive behavior, and fear. Thus, it appears that social-story interventions

may have broad application for a variety of children and youth with autism.

The following are step-by-step guidelines and suggestions for writing, implementing, and

evaluating the effectiveness of social-story interventions. These suggestions are based on the work

of Gray (1994) and Gray and Garand (1993), and on the experiences of the authors of this


1. Identify a target behavior or problem situation for social-story intervention. The educator and/or

caregiver should select a social behavior for change, preferably one whose improvement can result

in (a) increased positive social interactions, (b) a safer environment, and/or (c) additional social

learning opportunities. The behavior should be task analyzed based on the student's ability level.

For example, consider the case of Bob, who during lunch grabs food from his peers' plates and

eats it. He exhibits this behavior at school, at home, and in restaurants. People who do not know

Bob often react in a hostile manner. Accordingly, grabbing food from other people' s plates is

targeted for modification because it is socially unacceptable and interferes with the development of

more acceptable forms of social contact.

2. Define target behaviors for data collection. For several reasons, it is imperative that the

individuals planning and implementing social- story programs clearly define the behaviors on

which data will be collected. First, all data collectors need an identical understanding of all facets of

the targeted behaviors, to ensure reliability in measuring change. In addition, behaviors should be

defined in such a way that the participant understands the behavior to be exhibited. For example,

Bob's initial eating behavior consisted of eating and grabbing. Eating was defined for him as sitting

and consuming food only from the plate that was in front of him. Grabbing was defined as

removing food from a plate other than his own.

3. Collect baseline data on the target social behavior. Collecting data over an extended time period

allows the educator to determine a trend. Baseline data collection can range from 3 to 5 days and

more. To measure Bob's food-grabbing behavior, data were collected by placing tally marks on a

sheet of paper each time Bob grabbed food from a peer's plate during lunch. The total numbers of

tally marks were logged onto a separate sheet of paper with the corresponding date.

4. Write a short social story using descriptive, directive, perspective, and control sentences. A

good rule of thumb to follow in writing social stories is to write two to five descriptive,

perspective, and control sentences for every directive sentence in the story (Gray, 1994). Stories

should be written in accordance with the student's comprehension skills, and vocabulary and print

size individualized for each student. The stories should be written in the first person and in either

the present tense (to describe a situation as it occurs) or the future tense (to anticipate an upcoming


5. Place one to three sentences on each page. Presentation of the social story is dependent on the

student's functioning level. One sentence per page is often adequate; this allows the student to

focus on and process a specific concept. More than one sentence per page sometimes results in an

overload of information, and as a consequence the student does not comprehend the information


6. Use photographs, hand-drawn pictures, or pictorial icons. Pictorial representations can enhance

student understanding of appropriate behavior, especially with students who lack reading skills.

Icons have been shown to be effective learning tools for children and youth with autism (for

example, a picture on Bob's social story depicted him eating appropriately). However, Gray

(1994) cautioned that illustrations may too narrowly define a situation, resulting in limited

generalization. Thus, decisions about whether to use a pictorial representation with social stories

should be made on an individual basis.

7. Read the social story to the student and model the desired behavior. Being read a social story

and having related behaviors modeled as needed should become a consistent part of the student's

daily schedule. For example, the story may be read just prior to the activity targeted by the story.

Accordingly, Bob's story could be read to him right before lunch, or the story presented to him at

the beginning of each day to help him anticipate a specific situation and the appropriate response.

Depending on the student's functioning level, the teacher or the student can read the story. Further,

the student who is able to read independently may read the social story to peers, so that all have a

similar perspective of the targeted situation and appropriate behaviors.

8. Collect intervention data. Data should be collected throughout the social-story program

intervention process, using the same procedures described for collecting and analyzing baseline


9. Review the findings and related social-story procedures. If desired behavioral changes fail to

occur after implementing the social-story intervention for 2 weeks, review the social story and its

implementation procedures. It is recommended that ff program alterations are made, only one

variable be changed at a time (e.g., the content of the story, rather than also simultaneously

changing the time the social story is read and the person who reads it). By changing only one factor

at a time, the program engineer can determine the factor or factors that best facilitate an individual

student's learning. For example, changing the time that Bob's food-grabbing social story was

presented, from just before lunch to an earlier morning slot, allowed him to reflect on appropriate

behaviors and thus improve the program. On the other band, ff the time and social story content

had both been changed at the same time, the teacher could not be sure which factor was responsible

for Bob's behavior change.

10. Program for maintenance and generalization. After a behavior change has been established, the

educator may want to fade use of the social story. Fading is accomplished by extending the time

periods between readings, or placing additional responsibility on students for reading their social

stories themselves. By their very nature, social stories permit generalization across environments.

Thus, tions (for example, the teacher assisted Bob in using his appropriate eating skills during

snack time, parties, and in restaurants). In addition, the teacher should ensure that the student

continues the appropriate behavior. Finally, students with sufficient independent skills can be

assisted in identifying social goals for which they can develop their own related social stories.

TABLE 1 Steps in the Social-Skills Training Model Step Procedure

1 Identify and define social deficits to be modified 2 Identify and analyze related environments and

situations 3 Identify and analyze contingencies related to targeted behavior 4 Accurately measure

the deficit response and visually display its occurrence 5 Conduct a task analysis of behavioral

observations 6 Select and apply appropriate reinforcers and training procedures to develop the

desired response 7 Carry out program maintenance and follow-up activities

DIAGRAM: Figure 1. Danielle's greeting social story.

GRAPH: Figure 2 Line graph depicting Danielle's appropriate use of greeting behavior during

baseline and social-story intervention.

GRAPH: Figure 3. Bar graph depicting the mean number of Danielle's use of greeting-related

behaviors prior to and following the social- story intervention,

DIAGRAM: Figure 4, Danielle's appropriate-behavior social story to reduce aggression.

GRAPH: Figure 5. Line graph depicting Danielle's aggressive incidents during baseline and

social-story intervention.

GRAPH: Figure 6. Bar graph depicting the mean number of Danielle's aggressive contacts prior to

and following social-story intervention.

DIAGRAM: Figure 7. Adam's sharing social story.

DIAGRAM: Figure 8 Darrell's sharing social story.

GRAPH: Figure 9. Bar graph depicting Adam's sharing-related behaviors prior to and following

social-story intervention.

GRAPH: Figure 10. Bar graph depicting Darrell's sharing-related behaviors prior to and following

social-story intervention.


By Brenda L. Swaggart, Elisa Gagnon, Stacey Jones Bock, Theresa L. Earles, Colleen Quinn,

Brenda Smith Myles, and Richard L Simpson

Copyright 1995 by PRO-ED. Text may not be copied without the express written permission of


Swaggart, et, Using social stories to teach social and behavioral skills to children with autism..,

Vol. 10, Focus on Autistic Behavior, 04-01-1995, pp 1.

Date: Sat, 30 Dec 1995 21:45:42 -0500

From: Lucy Veenie <LVeenie@AOL.COM

Subject: Social goals (article-long)

The following is a handout from a workshop on hyperlexia at Autism conference

in Allentown.

It deals a lot with social issues - hot for older kids (like mine). So I

apologize for the length but I couldn't edit - it was simpler just to type

entire thing in.

The questions I have: do you think we can program any of the games in ?

I have a hyperlexic kid, who loves to read (with good comprehension).

According to hyperlexia people we can write out everything - rules,

instructions, morning order of things. Seems to work.

According to Bancroft Lovaas people Dan's reading is just a self-stimulatory

behaviour, we should just follow their programming and forget his learning

preferences. Poppycock.

I think the truth is somewhere in between and this (the following article)

and Carol Gray's "Social stories" can be programmed and made more structured

(and easier for parents to perform) using the structure of Lovaas drills.

Just an opinion - any programmers out there who been there done that?

My son has been attending an after school inclusion-program with a group of

NT kids, and the games seem to be an obstacle. He can be better at anyone

else at Simon Says, but does not comprehend that you stop playing once you

made a mistake. What follows is a monumental tantrum. How do we program


Forgive me for rattling on - have a wonderful Happy New Year! Lucy.

Activating Social Communication in High Functioning Children with PDD.

Hand-out accompanying the Video-tape with the same name available from

Center for Speech and Language Disorders 479 Spring Road Elmhurst, Ill.

By Sally Bligh and Phyllis Kupperman.

Children playing together - a natural part of growing up that we all take for

granted. What are they learning as they play? They learn how to argue, how

to share, ho to comfort each other, when to object and when to tattle.

Lessons of social discourse which will serve them all their lives. They

learn the basics of forming relationships with otherw which will allow them

to be successful in school, at work, and at home. HF PDD kids want to play

with the other children but they do not know how to begin. They stand on the

sidelines but are unable to tell if it is all right to join. Soon they walk

off to play on their own. Some will let other children play in their games

but only if they follow specific rules. They get upset when the other

children change things but they lack the skills to negotiate disagreements.

Others may be so unsure of themselves in social situations that they

apologize constantly for anything they do or say. Some older very verbal

persons with PDD are knowledgeable in many topics, buttalk on and on without

realizing that the listener is no longer interested. These kids with PDD,

HFA, Aspergers and Hyperlexia. All desire to interact with their peers but

lack the language of communication and social awareness of the verbal and

non-verbal cues which carry social messages. These children are quite

intelligent in many ways. In our view a large part of the answer lies in the

proess by whicj they are learning language. They all learned language at

first by echoing what they heard and then using the whole echoed phrases to

try to communicate with others. This language learning style is called

Gestalt processing by researchers. The children perceive whole chunks of

language without understanding the individual words or the internal structure

of what was said. It is very much like the way we learned the French song

Frere Jacnues as children - mimicking the words but not understanding what we

were singing. Learning language in this way makes the communication less

flexible and therefore socially awkward. In developing a social interaction

program for these children this particular language learning style must be

taken into account. These children begin using echoed phrases in their

solitary play. They often memorzed phrases from popular children's videos

and they recombine them to make new stories as they play with the trains.

Social language consists of patterned phrases they use to make requests.

They can occasionally answer questions from adults and sometimes can use

their reading skills to help them learn more language. As their language

skills increase, they will be ready to join a beginning social group.


The social group consist of two to three children of similar age and language

level. The goal of each group is to promote social interaction among the

children, with the therapist acting as a coach and model. Within each

session the therapist structures 3 or 4 activities designed to allow the

children to memorize new patterns of communication. The communications are

intesified by using activities in whicj the children need to use language to

further the game and affect the other children. The communications are

scripted and rehearsed so that the children memorize appropriate phrases and

sentences. Appropriate scripting is a key to the success of the social

interaction. Scripts must take into account the age and gender of the

children. The therapist gives the child the exact words to say when the

child is not able to produce them on his own. In this way the child rarely

searches or makes incorrect responses. The therapists speech is slow and

deliverate and verbal explanations are kept to a minimum. The children are

shown what to do or told what to say. As the children learn what to say the

therapist withdraws and allows the group to run on its own.


In working with social grou-ps with children who have PDD, we have identified

four levels of social communication: turn taking, cooperative

communication, beginning dialogue and sustaining conversation. Children are

placed in a group depending on their lagnuage level and chronological age.


The children ready for the Loeve 1: Turn Taking group know many words and can

use some sentences, but they have difficulty answering questions. If left

on their own with another child theor play is likely to be solitary, but they

will use verbal language to request items from an adult. The therapist sets

up an activity which depends on verbal and non-verbal turn-taking. She

scripts the appropirate communication by giving them the exact words to say.

The verbal and non-verbal language used is simple and learned rotely at

first. No verbal explanations are used . The communication is intensified

when the therapist prevents the activity from going forward until the correct

communication is given. After the pattern is learned and rehearsed, the

therapist can then step back and let the ebergy for continuing the activity

come from the children rather than the adult leader.

(From my notes: drills on how to start a game (do you want to play xxx?) how

to keep the game going (now it's my/your turn) - knowing what to say to

stop/continue playing). Game - break the ice


Children ready for this level already know how to use sentences and can

answer some simple questions. They know how to take turns but lack the

ability to know how to negotiate when they run into trouble. They will

initiate interactions with each other but do not know how to continue them.

At this level activities are presented which involve not only turn taking

but also require that the children make comments, ask each questions, and

clarify the rules for each other. Again, the therapists scripts the

appropriate communication until the children can play the game cooperatively

bu themselves. She allows the game to continue until the children need

coaching as to what to say next. They are highly motivated to communicate in

order to continue the game.

How to initiate, how to negotiate (like which game to play), take turns

asking questions of each other - LV.


Children take turns and know what to say to keep the game going, but they

still do not know how to carry on a conversation with another child. They

have trouble with critical thinking skills and answering higher level

questions such as why, why not, how and what if. Using language to discuss

ideas and solve problems is difficult for these children. Games requiring

more complicated language can now be introduced. The GUESS WHO game is

particularly good for children beginning to dialogue, since they must think

of a question to ask in order to solve a problem. Possible questions and

answers are scripted and the children can choose from among them. The

therapist acts as a coach when needed. While previous activities have used

patterned language scripts, at this level the children are helped to learn

what to say to each other in open ended dialogues.. The language being

scripted is much more vaied and spontaneous as the therapist helps the

children find the right words to express themselves. It is important to set

up the activity in sucj a way that the children talk to each other rather

then respond to the adult.

Games: Guess who, Clue Jr.


Students ready for the Level 4 are able to use manu higher level language

skills to ask and answer questions, to solve problems and to complete work or

scholl tasks. They still have difficulty however sustaining a conversation

with a peer and maintaining a friendship. The complexities of the verbal and

non-verbal social nuances elude them and they have difficulty understanding

humor sarcasm indirect communications and body language that others learn

through observation and experience. At this level, rules of communication

are taught and practiced with the group. Students are taught how to give

feedback, and nake smooth transitions from topic to topic., They learn to

use appropriate body language, and rduce distracting mannerisms. Rules are

written and referred to so as not to interrupt the flow of conversation.

They learn techniques of social communication in a systematic way, since

they have difficulty understanding the social cues of others, These

techniques are modeled and practiced in the therapy session and then put into

practice ina conversation with a peer.

(like say two sentences then stop and wait for other person to talk - LV)

Making friends, eye contact, giving feedback (repeat, rephrase) - lv

When planning social communication groups remember to:


1. Give the exact words and tell the child to "SAY IT"

2. Use clear slow deliberate speech

HFA and PDD kids learn language using Gestalt Processing. They are quick to

memorize both what they see anbd hearm but they have trouble understanding

verbalexplanations. Therefor, when the child does not know what to say

within a peer interaction, the therapist gives the child the exac words to

say. It is as if the therapist is providing the lines in a script. The

child does not have to search or make incorrect responses. The child then

repeats the ine. He rehearses it.


Specific tools for intensifying the communications are used.

1. Interesting activities are used which require the children to talk with

each other ata level appropriate to theor language development.

2. We make sure that their attempts to use verbal communication do affect the

interaction, are listened to and do have an impact on the other child.

3. Activities that are of high interest to the children are used to motivate

the children to continue the dialogue.

As we watch these groups of students struggle with social communication, we

realize the complexity of the process and the many mistakes we all make in

establishing relationships with others. These high functioning children with

PDD can learn many of the rules of social discourse if they are first taght

what to say. And, above all, remember to make it fun.

Date: Mon, 11 Sep 1995 17:51:50 -0600

Reply-To: SJU Autism and Developmental Disablities List


Sender: SJU Autism and Developmental Disablities List


From: "Judith W. Davids" <jdavids@ISBE.STATE.IL.US

Subject: Re: Asperger Peer Support Group

To: Multiple recipients of list AUTISM <AUTISM@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU

Does anyone have any experience with a peer support group of Asperger or HFA

kids? I have an 11 year old son that is struggling to keep his grade school

friends in middle school. We have been seeing a local psychologist for

three years dealing with behavior modification and social skills. My son

has always been included in a regular classroom in school.

Any remarks or suggestions about peer support group experiences would be


The trouble with social skills training provided in one-to-one sessions

with an adult is that children with Asperger's don't generalize the skills

easily or well to classroom situations or social interactions with peers.

Skills would be more easily assimilated and applied if your son could be

included in a social skills/problem solving group provided in school, in

the context of a regular school day, with his age peers. Another technique

useful for building supports is Circle of Friends. You can get more

information in the work of Perske (1988. Circles of Friends: People with

Disabilities and Their Friends Enrich the Lives of One Another, Nashville,

TN: Abingdon Press) or O'Brien et al. (1989. Action for Inclusion: How to

Improve Schools by Welcoming Children with Special Needs into Regular

Classrooms, Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Inclusion Press).

Judith Davids, School Psychologist "In case of Sudden and Temporary

Pupil Personnel Services Immersion, the Important Thing is to

Woodridge Elementary District #68 keep the Head Above Water."

2525 Mitchell Drive Ernest H. Shepard, in _Pooh's Little

Woodridge, Illinois 60517 Instruction Book_

Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 00:27:49 -0400

Reply-To: SJU Autism and Developmental Disablities List


Sender: SJU Autism and Developmental Disablities List


From: Susan Weese-Murray <Soosn1@AOL.COM

Subject: Re: social stories


To: Multiple recipients of list AUTISM <AUTISM@SJUVM.STJOHNS.EDU

Hi Patti,

Yes I made them up myself. Got the idea from Carol Gray-went to her


Love reading your posts. We parents seem to have interesting senses of


Social Stories by Carol Gray:

c/o Future Education

422 Lamar Blvd. East

Suite 106

Arlington, Texas 76011


This style of teaching social skills, have changed my son's behaviors. He

now understands SOOO much more. She is presenting at MAAP.

This is by far my best tool (besides humor) for dealing with behaviors.

Peace,, Susan

Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 16:34:16 -0500

From: Jennifer Ramirez <ramirez@NORTHWEB.COM>

Subject: Some Program Scripts...


****** This is a confidential, unmoderated list. ******

Responsibility for posts to this list lies entirely with the original author.


Hope these might come in handy for someone!


*Telephone Conversation*

Use two phones, pretend "ring ring"

Therapist: Hello?

Child: Hello (name)!

T: How are you?

C: Great! Hoe are you?

T: O.K> What are you doing today?

C. Just playing. What are you going to do today?

T: I'm going to _____________.

C: That's great! I have to go. Talk to you later.

T: Good-bye.

C: Good-bye.

*Home From School*

Adjust to fit routine and friends

C: Hello! I'm home from school!

T: Great! What did you do today?

C: I played (activity).

T: Who played with you?

C: (Friend). We had snack, too!

T: What did you have?

C: Crackers and juice. I sat next to (friend).

*Going to the Mall*

T: We're going to the mall!

C: Great! Let's go now!

T: We need to put on our hats and coats.

C: Okay. I want to go to the pet store.

T: What do you like about the pet store?

C: I like the fish! Can I get a pretzel, too?

T: Sure.

*At the Mall*

T: Okay, we're at the mall.

Everyone walk slow, no running!

C: I see the merry-go-round! Can we ride it?

T: After we go to the pet store and get a pretzel, maybe.

C: I can't wait to see the fish and birds.

T: First we need to get a stroller for (younger sibling).

C: Can I push the stroller?

T: Sure, but push slowly and watch where you're going.


T: Clean-up time! Would you like to help me?

C: Sure, I can help!

T: Okay! How many can you carry?

C: I can carry alot!

T: Oh, you are a great helper!

C: Thanks

*School--Play initiation*

C: Hey (friend), would you like to play with me?

Friend: Sure (Child), want to play with horses?

C: Great! You can have this horse and i can have this one.

*Daddy Home From work*

C: Hi Daddy!

Dad: Hi (child)!

C: How are you?

D: Fine! How are you?

C: Good. Did you work hard today?

D: Yes, I did. Did you?

C: Yes- I worked with (therapist).

*Older sibling Home from school*

C: Hi (sibling)!

sib: Hi (child)!

C: How was school today? Did you have a good day?

sib: Yes. Did you have a good day?

C: Yes. I worked/played with (therapist or friend)>

*Therapist Arriving*

C: Hi (therapist)!

T: Hi (child). How are you?

C: Good. How are you?

T: fine. Are you ready to work?

C: Yes! Come on --let's go!


Roles should be reversed after a couple of run throughs...

T: Hello! How are you today?

C: I'm fine thank-you.

T: What can I get you today?

C: Let's see. I would like a Happy Meal and a coke.

T: Do you want a cheeseburger or hamburger in your Happy Meal?

C: A cheeseburger, please.

T: That will be three dollars.

C: There you go.

T: Thank you. Would you like catsup for your fries?

C: Yes please.

T: Here you are! thanks you for eating at McDonalds!

C: Bye.

*Lost Pet*

Police officer and pet owner--first time therapist is police

officer...stuffed animal for pet

Owner: dials phone...ring ring...

Police: "Hello, this is police officer ________. How can i help you?

O: I can't find my pet dog. Can you help me?

P: sure. Where do you live?

O: I live in (town).

P: What street do you live on?

O: I live on (street).

P: I'll be right over to help you.

P knocks on door...

O: Who is it?

P: Hello. It's the police. I've come to help you find your lost pet.

O opens door, pretends to be sad...(prompt)

O: I'm so sad my dog is lost.

P: What is your dog's name?

O: (name)

P: Let's try calling him/her.

O and P call together...

P: Could she be UNDER the table? (prompt o to go look)

O looks under the table

O: No, she's not under the table.

P: Could she be IN the toy box? (same as above)

O: No, she's not In the toy box.

P: could she be behind the door?

O: No, she's not behind the door...

P: Could she be next to the tool bench?

O: No, she's not next to the tool bench.

P: Hmmmm... I know! Maybe she is Under the basket!?

Police goes and retrieves lost pet...

P: Here she is!!!

O: I'm so happy you found my dog!! Thank you! (cuddles pet)

More to come another time.....


Date: Sat, 1 Feb 1997 16:51:10 -0500

From: Jennifer Ramirez <ramirez@NORTHWEB.COM>

Subject: More program scripts...


****** This is a confidential, unmoderated list. ******

Responsibility for posts to this list lies entirely with the original author.



Animal sounds back and forth with therapist---joshua could win every time

coming up with more original answers!

EX: A cow says moo.

A horse says neigh.

A cat says meow.

Etc. back and forth...

Then, "I like to eat..." back and forth, then "I like to play with...", and

we ended with colors...

EX: An apple is red.

The sun is yellow.

A frog is green.

A skunk is black and white (Joshua's response ;) )



Ther's a circus coming.

Can I go?

I'm having trouble fixing my ______.

Can I help?

Wow, your snack looks really good.

Do you want some?

I'm reading a great book.

What are you reading?

We're going for a drive.

Where are we going?

Would you like to play _____ with me?

Let's do it!

I don't know what to do.

Would you like to play?

Hi ____. How are you?

I'm good! How are you?

Hey look, there's the dinosaurs!

Let's go play with them!

I heard you went for a walk in the woods.

Guess what I found?

Look, those guys are playing with blocks.

Can I play?

i just got a new haircut.

You look great.

Hmm...look at that.

What is it?

Oh no!

What's wrong?

I'm going to make something...


It's almost time to eat.

What's for (meal)?

I saw someone at the store.

Who did you see?

I'm going to dress up for Halloween.

What are you going to be?

My friend did something funny.

What did he do?

I went somewhere last night.

where did you go?

My foot hurts.

Why does it hurt?

Guess what.


I'm drawing something.

What are you drawing?

I bought something at the grocery store.

What did you buy?

I just ate lunch.

What did you eat?

I found a _____.

Where did you find it?

I got a new toy.

What did you get?

There's someone at the door.

Who is it?

I feel ____.

Why do you feel ___?

I like to watch movies.

What's your favorite movie?

I had to go the doctor/dentist.


I ate a great lunch today.

What did you eat?

Lots more for another with my SLP and other HFA moms for a

birthday dinner :) Jennifer, Joshua's mom

Date: Sat, 7 Mar 1998 12:35:00 -0500

From: Michael Angert <mangert@UBMAIL.UBALT.EDU>

Subject: Social Stories

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The two books:

Original Social Stories by Carol Gray, and

New Social Stories...all new stories teaching social skills by Carol Gray,

seem to be available from Future Horizons, Inc.

The two books:

Original Social Stories by Carol Gray, and

New Social Stories...all new stories teaching social skills by Carol Gray,

seem to be available from Future Horizons, Inc.


Their website lists the costs as $39.95 and $31.95 respectively.

A friend recommended these books but I have not bought them or ordered anything from this company to date.

Hope this helps.