Skip to content

Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

Autism resources

A number of our One minute guides cover Autism topics including tics, online safety, autism in girls as well as lots of helpful advice, guidance and support.

Autism Education Trust resources

Find helpful reading and resources from the Autism Education Trust:

Social stories™

A social story is often presumed to be a strategy only for children and young people with autism. However, they can also support neurotypical children and those with speech, language and communication needs.

Social stories can help to develop a person’s social understanding about a particular situation, event or activity and provide specific information about what to expect in that situation and why.

Social stories™ were originally devised by Carol Gray. There is generally a distinct structure and format in which they are written. The three main types of sentences that are included within a social story are:

  • Descriptive: These are concrete and assumption-free statements.
  • Perspective: These state the thoughts, beliefs, feelings and opinions of other people.
  • Directive: These suggest an appropriate response to a social situation.

Social stories™ can be developed by anyone who is involved with the child or young person for example parents, carers, teachers, youth workers. It can be helpful to work in partnership to ensure that all the relevant information is captured and personalised to the individual, in order for them to access and engage.

Top tips to remember when developing and implementing a social story

  • A good place to start is to provide a positive social story in which the young person is currently understanding the situation well. They will be more likely to engage with this intervention when addressing trickier situations, as they will not perceive them to be solely focused on negative examples.
  • Incorporating a child’s special interest may help to support their engagement.
  • Using insurance terms such as ‘sometimes, usually, occasionally’, will prevent the story from being too rigid.
  • Social stories should not be a list of rules to teach rote compliance (for the person to behave better, for example: say sorry).
  • Should not be negative.
  • Should not be telling someone what they must do, follow instructions or given sanctions.
  • Share the story with the young person regularly and prior to the situation arising.
  • Review the impact and make amendments accordingly.

For further information and training on constructing social stories, please visit: