Social Stories™: A possible theoretical rationale

Georgina Reynhout*, Mark Carter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Social Stories™ are an intervention widely used with individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). This paper discusses a possible theoretical rationale that might account for the purported efficacy of Social Stories™. Attributes of individuals with ASD in relation to Social Story intervention including difficulties with theory of mind (involving perspective taking and emotion perception), weak central coherence, visual learning style, intellectual ability and comprehension, and stimulus overselectivity are considered. In addition, behavioural explanations are explored. Probably the most parsimonious explanation is that Social Stories may be viewed as loose contingency contracts, which highlight natural reinforcers. It is noted however, that the possible underlying mechanisms remain speculative and that there may be many factors involved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-378
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Special Needs Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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