Sensory Needs Social Stories

Times of great excitement, social or family celebrations or changes can be an overwhelming time for children who are highly sensitive to their environment.

There are many ways you can help a child with sensory challenges to feel comfortable in various environments. Here, we’re sharing how to use a social story to address your child’s sensory needs.

You can create a social story (also called a behavior story) or use a template to help your child prepare for a specific event or handle a situation they may experience. The goal is to set expectations so your child will feel confident handling the situations using appropriate behaviors.

In our sensory needs social stories, you’ll find customizable templates and PowerPoint presentations that teach your child how to ask to take a break, what they can do if the environment they are in is too loud, and also how to manage smells in their surroundings, among other related topics.

Customize the social story so that it’s being told from your child’s perspective and be sure to read and review it with him/her several times in advance of the upcoming event or experience.

These behavior social stories may benefit your students.  They can be downloaded, saved and edited to suit your needs.  The * notation indicates the story is  formatted in a Power Point presentation and the ** notation indicates a Power Point with sound narration.  Each Power Point has animation included on each slide.  Some occur automatically – some occur on a “click”.  Feel free to send comments or questions to [email protected].

What I Can and Cannot Do with My Tongue

Listening to My Body

Listening to My Body (for younger students)

When I Feel Like Leaving a Situation

It’s Too Loud

It’s Too Loud*

Taking Breaks

Calming the Wiggles

Smells in the Cafeteria*

What Goes in Your Mouth

When My Friend is Too Loud

Fidget Rules

Other Things I Can Do

This resource was authored by Watson Institute Special Education Consultant, Abby Martello, M.Ed. 

If you have questions or concerns about the Watson Institute’s use of this information, please contact us.