Guest Post by Chelsy Theriault

Children with Autism often struggle with everyday social situations and have difficulty understanding the nuances of interpersonal communication. As an Autism Support Worker, I often used what are called “Social Stories” to help illustrate and explain these situations. These stories are written with simple language from the child’s perspective to help them conceptualize and prepare for specific events.

Recently I used a great application from that allowed me to create a clear and concise social story about Christmas right on my phone. I was able to easily add text and images – the entire process took about 10 minutes!

Keep in mind that social stories are not limited to use with Autistic children – even typically developed children can benefit from these easy to understand stories. Trouble with potty training? Bed time? Eating healthy foods? You can write a social story for that.

Writing a social story is not difficult and requires only a little creativity. Think of the concept you want to explain to your child, simplify the language (being repetitive if possible) and add some clipart. Voila! You made a social story!

For example, the Christmas social story I recently wrote using simplifies the process of Christmas: decorations, Christmas tree, presents, etc. For an Autistic child, who may thrive on order and struggle with flexibility, Christmas can be a chaotic time of year. Having that story to read will help to give them expectations so that the change in décor and schedule is not as frightening and shocking.

Having the ability to print these stories makes them extremely interesting and novel – the exact thing you may need to catch your child’s attention!

Chelsy Theriault is a writer, single mother, and Autism Support worker from Saint John, NB, Canada. She has a B.A. in Psychology and is certified in Autism Intervention Training.