Social Stories for Autism, ADHD and PDD-NOS

by Stephen M Edelson, Ph.D. Director, Center for the Study of Autism  Theory of mind Many persons with autism, attention deficits (ADD & ADHD), learning disabilities (LD), and pervasive developmental disorders (PDD-NOS) have deficits in social cognition, the ability to think in ways necessary for appropriate social interaction. Recent research has shown that these individuals do not realize that other people have their own thoughts, plans, and points of view.  They also appear to have difficulty understanding other people’s beliefs, attitudes and emotions. As a result, they may not be able to anticipate what others will say or do in various social situations.  This has been termed as a lack of “theory of mind,” or the ability to take the perspective of another person. Social Stories An interesting technique, developed by Carol Gray, a consultant to students with autism in Michigan, helps individu­als with autism “read” and understand social situations better.  This approach presents appropriate social behaviors in the form…