Social Stories Can Help with the Return to School

Social Stories Can Help with the Return to School

Submitted by Cassee Dangerfield, CCC-SLP, speech-language pathologist with Valley Medical Center’s Children’s Therapy

Social stories can be about anything. They are simple, short picture stories that are meant to help take the uncertainty out of a new situation. A lot of children may be headed into new situations this fall with the change to in-person learning and social stories can help support them in this shift! 

So, what do social stories look like?  Social stories can be specific to your child or more general to target more people. They are usually about a specific event, situation, and/or setting. They can be many pages or just one page. Hand drawings can be used or photos. It really does not matter how you make the story, but that you trying to support your child. Each page often has a picture with one or two sentences.

How do you make social stories?  You can search for free stories on the internet to download or make them yourself using PowerPoint or Word. You can also always make one by hand. Sometimes the handmade stories are the most fun! I have found that including the child when making the story helps get them excited about it. You can be the author and they can draw or choose the pictures. 

What situations are social stories meant for?  ANYTHING! Some examples include going to school, eating in a restaurant, going to a party, using a public bathroom, moving, making new friends, etc. The situations are endless. If you think that your child needs some help with a new event, setting, transition, etc., then make a social story about it! 

How do I use a social story?  This can vary by child, but most children benefit from reading the story at least a few times. Try working it into story time each day. If the story is about a specific event, for example going to school, it may be helpful to read it the night before or in the morning before leaving for school. 

This back to school social story from includes COVID-19 masking and social distancing guidelines.

Learn more about services at Children’s Therapy by visiting or call 425.690.3513.

The photo by unknown author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND.

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