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Social Stories on Getting Dressed

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Getting dressed can be a major challenge for some students with disabilities and their families. These social stories will help students understand why getting dressed matters and how to make it a less difficult experience.

Social Stories for Getting Dressed

A social story is an anecdote told in carefully scripted language, designed to coach a student through a challenging situation or concept by offering vocabulary, strategies, and easy-to-memorize advice. These stories are particularly helpful for students on the autistic spectrum, students who have speech and language delays, and students who struggle with physical or emotional self-regulation and expression. In this lesson, you will find social stories explicitly oriented toward helping students learn about getting dressed.

Getting Dressed Every Day

Every morning when I wake up, I read a story with my mom. Sometimes, we snuggle in bed while we read the story, and I feel so cozy in my pajamas. My mom helps me wake up. After the story is over, I know it is time to get dressed. Getting dressed means taking off my pajamas, going to the bathroom, and then putting on clothes for the day. I have to put on underwear, pants, a shirt, and socks. My mom tells me what the weather will be like so I can make sure to dress warmly enough.

Sometimes, I do not want to get dressed! My pajamas feel so soft and cuddly, and I do not want to take them off! I feel angry at my mom, and I even feel angry at my clothes! I can tell I am angry because I want to throw my clothes all over the room. When I feel angry, I have a special ball I can squeeze. I take a deep breath and count to ten. I say to my mom, 'I feel angry,' and she nods to show me that she understands. Then I take another deep breath and get dressed as fast as I can. When I get dressed quickly, it is kind of fun. I do not have to feel cold for very long, either.

Sometimes, I have trouble getting dressed. Shirts get stuck on my head, and it is hard to zip my zippers and button my buttons. I know that it is my job to try three times, because I am big and I am growing up. If I try three times and I cannot do it, I feel frustrated. I call to my mom, 'help please!' and she knows that I have already tried. My mom comes to help me.

When I am done getting dressed, I come to the kitchen and eat my breakfast. I know I am ready to start my day.

Getting Dressed for Special Occasions

Every day, I get dressed. Some days I get dressed for school, and some days I just get dressed for playing. Sometimes, my parents tell me we are going somewhere special, like a party or a ceremony at our church. When we go special places, it means I have to get dressed up. Getting dressed up means wearing pants with a button instead of elastic. It means wearing a shirt with buttons, a special jacket, and sometimes a necktie.

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