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Using Social Stories from Adolescence into Adulthood (Part 2)

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

This article follows on from our first ‘snippets of advice’ information using social stories for early years to adolescence (click here for part 1), to now consider what style of social story can help into adulthood.

Pictorial social stories will still have a place for some adults, it may not be necessary to use symbols for every word but just using them for key parts of the social story may be sufficient. As mentioned in part one, photos may still be relevant for some people. Here is an example below using widgit symbols:

Jane and I attended an Inclusive Communication Day and Dr. Timmins discussed moving into adulthood and still using social stories as a tool for individuals to look back at what they have achieved. She calls it a ‘bank of positivity’ to talk through the day to defuse problems and anxiety. She then suggested moving on to using a ‘social article’ for new situations. This gives individuals the techniques to help them organise themselves and their thoughts.

A social article could be used in a variety of situations to include the following:

  • Meeting at college

  • Interviews and to deal with situations in the workplace whether it is voluntary work, a job or apprenticeship

  • Life stories to help deal with illness and bereavement

  • Starting a new hobby such as going to the gym, joining a club

  • Health and wellbeing – visiting the dentist or GP

The situation they need support with is discussed with the individual and when planning, photos and symbols may still be used to enable a social article to be written up for them in an accessible format. Writing in the third or first person will be dependent on the topic and what you know works best for the person. It is written in columns to resemble a newspaper or magazine article.

The individual may still need this printed out to read but possibly may benefit from this being put on their mobile phone to enable them to discreetly read this when needing reassurance.

I appreciate that this resource may not suit every adult, but I wanted to share this with you in the hope it may help some. If you need any support with producing a resource such as this, please do not hesitate to contact me directly


The New Social story Book by Carol Gray

Developing Resilience in Young People with Autism by Dr Siobhan Timmins

Successful social articles into adulthood by Dr Siobhan Timmins


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