How Can Social Stories Help Children With Special Needs?


Quick Answer

Social stories help children with special needs learn how to behave in a socially acceptable manner by presenting specific social situations in a way that the children can understand. Social stories improve special-needs children's confidence and allow them to foster positive social interactions in their daily lives.

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Full Answer

Special-needs children often learn well through social stories because social stories provide concrete examples of appropriate behavior rather than abstract or hypothetical situations. Children use social stories to learn behavioral norms in common situations, as well as specific ways to adapt to unexpected or changing situations. These stories improve a child's awareness of social situations and allow her to practice an appropriate response. For example, a social story can teach a child how to adjust her behavior to reduce anxiety in a specific social setting.

With social stories, children learn to empathize with others by examining how another person feels in a social situation. Social stories help children develop social confidence as they learn and practice appropriate behavior and develop more positive interactions with others. Social stories also help special-needs children by giving them a chance to improve critical reading skills, as they think about the material and answer questions that demonstrate reading comprehension.

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