Writing a Social Script
Tips on how to write a social script for a child with autism.
1. Write a sentence about the topic of social script. For younger children it helps if it is written in first person.
Example: My name is Peggy and this is my story about doing chores.
2. Write a sentence defining or describing the topic of the story.
Example: Chores are things I do around the house to help the house stay clean and organized.
3. Write a sentence giving specific examples of what might be involved in the activity/event. (For some topics, this may require more than one sentence.)
Example: My mom and dad will write down the things I have to do so I can remember. Some chores that I will do are washing the dishes, making my bed, and feeding the dog.
4. Write a sentence explaining what the expectations are for the child in this situation.
Example: I will need to try and do my chores every day. I can choose to do them in the morning or at night. If I forget to do them, mom and dad will remind me and I need to listen to them.
5. Write a sentence explaining what the child can do in the situation if they are feeling nervous, scared, overwhelmed, confused, mad, sad, etc.
Example: If I am confused about what to do, I can check my list or ask mom and dad for help.
6. Write a sentence describing the outcome/reward/end result of the situation.
Example: Mom and dad will be very happy if I do my chores every day. If I do my chores everyday, I will get to choose an ice cream treat on Saturdays. I can do it!
• The story should answer all relevant “wh” questions;
• The story should be developmentally appropriate (use appropriate vocabulary, length, details, etc);
• Adding pictures with the words can support comprehension for younger children;
• Write the story in a positive tone;
• The story should help the child know what is coming and what to do;
• Avoid using absolutely language, such as: you will, you must, have to, etc.
• Try to use concrete but flexible language, such as you can, might, sometimes, etc.
• The exception to this rule may be with safety concepts such as: “I have to stay inside when I am not with mom and dad.”