Children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders often have difficulty recognizing their own emotional states and the emotional states of others around them.

Because students with ASD often lack strategies to deal with emotions, the reactions to what happens to them often does not match their displayed emotion state.  Students with ASD display varied emotional vulnerability, often reporting feelings of stress, have difficulty tolerating mistakes and have low thresholds for frustration. Even though the emotional domain of autism is one of the most outward expressions of communication, with outbursts and classroom disruptions, little research has been done in this area.  Generally, we know that more time is needed to help students with ASD learn to identify, understand, and regulate their own emotions.

Strategy: Social Stories

What is a Social Story?

Carol Gray first defined social stories in 1991.  She states that a Social Story describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. The goal of a Social Story is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience. Half of all Social Stories developed should affirm something that an individual does well. Although the goal of a Story should never be to change the individual’s behavior, that individual’s improved understanding of events and expectations may lead to more effective responses.


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