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Disclaimer: The Autism Resource Foundation provides general information to the autism community. The information comes from a variety of sources, and the Autism Resource Foundation does not independently verify any of it, nor does it necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of the Autism Resource Foundation. Nothing on this website should be construed as medical advice. Always consult your doctor regarding the needs of your family.
Source: Child behavior Guide
Download free social stories for children with autism symptoms or pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) to help them know what to expect and/or understand a certain situation, skill or concept.
Originally designed to be used for individuals with characteristics for autism, social stories have also proven to be valuable when used with children and adolescents with social and communication delays, as well as kids developing normally.
They can be made in the form of a book or a video used for just about any event and are easily applied alone or along with picture exchange communication systems (PECS).
You will need Adobe Reader (the latest version is recommended) installed on your computer in order to open the free social stories. You can get Adobe Reader here (a new window will open so you can download it without leaving this page, but you will need to temporarily disable any pop up blockers to open the new window).
If you want to open the file in your browser window, just click on the free social story. However, if you want to download the file to view later, then right-click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or “Save File As.” Then select where you want to save the file on your hard drive.
Once you have saved the file, locate where you saved it, and double click to open.
In order to print, open the downloaded file, and select the “Print” option.
Writing Social Stories
Although the free social stories for children shown above work well to give ideas, it is best to try and make your own with real pictures to help your child relate better. If you are able to take your camera and get real pictures of your child’s school, bus, local grocery store etc. this will make the story that much more effective.
Once you have acquired all of the necessary pictures, you can find an app to use or assemble them into a story yourself. Some apps are free to use and let you add your own pictures and captions. Then it puts the pages together, so that you can scroll through it to read. The Model Me Kids 2 app has 6 free social stories that are great for kids.
For stories about going places, include anything that is important to let your child know about prior to the event, such as bright lights, loud noises, certain people, etc. You may read the story daily as your child is attempting to learn a new skill, leading up to a specific event, or immediately prior to participating in an event.
Potty Training Stories
One child, I used to work with, adamantly refused when her mother tried potty training bowel movements. Her mother created a social story with pictures of her about coming home from school, eating dinner, playing with toys, sitting on the toilet and having a bowel movement (stating how good it feels to go on the toilet), taking a bath and then getting ready for bed.
This was her typical routine each day, but usually the bowel movement was completed in a diaper that she requested to wear each day when she needed to go. She would read this to her daughter every day. Her mother also would say things such as “Poop, goes in the potty.” while putting all bowel movements in the toilet from the diaper as well.
Using only these three interventions, within about 1-2 months, her daughter one day just went and sat on the toilet and had a bowel movement. She then began going on the toilet regularly, which makes using social stories great for potty training resistance.
Her mother had previously tried reinforcement plans, constant asking, pleading, and mild reprimanding for going in her diaper, without even so much as an attempt on the toilet. She even promised to let her pick out her favorite Barbie (a huge reinforcer). So, although this may be time consuming to create, you can use the free story builder above to make it easier and the benefits are definitely worth it.