Social Stories on Going to the Doctor or Dentist

Instructor: Clio Stearns

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

Going to the doctor or dentist can be very stressful experiences for many children, but a good social story can make all the difference. This lesson offers social stories that will help make these appointments interesting and fun.

Using Social Stories

A social story is an anecdote composed of scripted language that is designed to help a student, usually those on the autistic spectrum or with a speech, language, or social delay or disability, deal with an unusual or stressful circumstance. These stories use simple language that clearly discusses what might happen at the appointment and how it might make them feel. You can use the social stories in this lesson to help make visits with doctors or dentists more pleasant for students who would otherwise find them overwhelming, stressful and even threatening.

Doctor Social Story

Sometimes, I have to go to the doctor. My doctor has an office in a red building. I go see her once a year for a physical exam, when she checks how I am growing and whether my body is healthy. I also go to see her if I am not feeling well.

My doctor has brown hair, glasses, and a friendly smile. She usually wears a white coat and has a stethoscope around her neck.

I know that when the doctor examines me, she will listen to my heart with the stethoscope. It might feel a little cold on my chest. The doctor will take my blood pressure by wrapping a cuff around my arm and squeezing on a pump. She will look at different parts of my body including my eyes, ears and skin. She also might ask me and my parents questions about how I am doing.

When I go to the doctor, I sometimes feel a little scared because it is unusual to let someone touch my body and ask me so many questions. I can tell I am scared because I start to sweat and I might even start to cry.

When I go to the doctor for being sick, I sometimes feel sad and angry because I just want to feel better right away. When I feel angry, I do not feel like talking with the doctor, and I sometimes even feel like hurting someone.

What helps me when I am feeling scared, sad or angry about going to a doctor is telling one of my parents. I say, 'I am feeling scared.' My parents know how to comfort me.

It also helps to bring my favorite teddy bear along. When I am about to get a shot or get my ears checked, I show the doctor my bear. She knows to check my bear first, and then I can hug my bear while I am being checked.

When I feel really angry or scared about the doctor, it also helps to say to myself, 'My doctor is here to help me.' If I say that again and again in my mind, it helps me remember it is true.

After I am done at the doctor, I usually get a sticker to remind me what a good job I did.

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