Social Narratives

****A great strategy for students with ASD!!!!****

What are Social Narratives?

Social narratives are visually represented stories that describe social situations and socially appropriate responses or behaviors to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Helps students to acquire and use appropriate social skills.

Social skills include communication, problem-solving, decision-making, self-management, and peer relations abilities that allow one to initiate and maintain positive social relationships.

Social narratives can be written, descriptive accounts of appropriate social behaviors or responses to common social situations. The can be visual or auditory.

Social narratives may help the individual gain information about the thoughts and feelings of others, or can be used to enhance social and behavioral understanding.


Sometimes school is fun. Having fun at school is a great way to learn and make friends. Sometimes having fun at school can make kids act silly. Sometimes being silly is okay, but usually not in the classroom. Occasionally, when I get silly it can be hard to stop. I might use a loud voice or laugh for a long time about something. Using a loud voice or laughing for a long time can distract others from paying attention in class. If this happens to me I can:

1) Sit up straight

2) Close my mouth (it's hard to laugh with your mouth closed)

3) Think about something that is not funny (like going to the principal's office)

4) Use a good, inside voice

Trying not to be silly at school will help me be a successful student. It will also help me be a good classmate to the kids in my class.

Social Story (for boy) - Waiting

How and when can Social Narratives be used!?

Social narratives can be used:

  • After a social "error" has occurred
  • Prior to a transition or new experience
  • As an intervention to reduce existing recurring behaviors

Step by step Instructions

Step 1. Identifying the Social Situation for the Intervention

Step 2. Defining the Target Behavior or Skill

Step 3. Collecting Baseline Data

Step 4. Writing the Social Narrative

Step 5. Choosing the Appropriate Length of Story

Step 6. Including Photos, Picture Icons, or Hand-drawn Pictures

Step 7. Implementing the Social Narrative

Step 8. Monitoring Learner Progress

Step 9. Reviewing Data and Modifying the Narrative if Necessary

Step 10. Addressing Generalization and Maintenance of Learned Behavior or Skill

Different types of Social Narratives:

Benefits of Social Narratives

1. Social narratives can be as detailed as needed and are created around personal goals and situations.

2. Allows the student to hear the steps, see them, and learn them.

3. Allows the student to practice the skills.

4. Social Narratives is good for multiple intelligences

  • Visual
  • Auditory
  • Kinesthetic

5. Catered to the student's individual level.

6. Personalized!

Commonly asked Questions:

  1. Are Social Stories(TM) the only kind of social narrative?

    A correct answer should contain:

    Social Stories(TM) are only one kind of social narrative. There are many different kinds of social narratives including social scripts, comic strip conversations, power cards, and social autopsies that can be used to enhance and promote an individual's social understanding. Social narratives can help an individual with autism spectrum disorders learn some of the aspects of social context and theory of mind that he or she may miss.

  2. Are pictures or graphics always used with social narratives?

    A correct answer should contain:

    Pictures or graphics are used when appropriate for the individual for whom the narrative is written. They can aid in comprehension but are not be used in every situation. For example, you probably wouldn't use pictures in a social narrative written for a high school student who can read fluently.

  3. How do I choose which kind of social narrative to use?

    A correct answer should contain:

    It is helpful to take a team approach to determining what type of social narrative to develop. If the individual needs some extra motivation, a Power Card might be appropriate because of the built-in reinforcement. If the individual simply needs additional information to handle a problem situation, a Social Story(TM) might be appropriate. If a child needs to talk about a prior stressful social situation, a social autopsy or comic strip conversation might be most appropriate.

  4. When is the social narrative introduced?

    A correct answer should contain:

    A social narrative is introduced when a social behavior has been identified for change, preferably one in which improvement can result in positive social interactions, a safer environment, additional social learning opportunities, or all three. Social narratives are introduced and taught through direct instruction that is about the social situation selected. The social narrative is used as a part of the child's daily routine.

  5. What if the student does not respond positively to the strategy?

    A correct answer should contain:

    If, after two weeks of using the social narrative strategy, there isn't a positive response, the narrative and implementation procedures should be reviewed. Perhaps the narrative needs to be written in a more positive way; perhaps the direct instruction regarding the purpose and use of the strategy was not sufficient to explain the social error and the demands of the situation. A different type of narrative strategy might be employed to address a particular situation. It is important to make only one change at a time so that helpful information can be gathered on the student's learning preferences.

    (All information from Visit for more information)