My granddaughter is 5 and has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. Today, she poured her milk on a classmate during lunch. How can we help her understand social interaction that is acceptable and not acceptable?


Proper interactions are a problem for many kids on the autism spectrum and some parents (myself included) have found success with “social stories.” Social stories were developed by Carol Gray, a long-time teacher of students with ASD, to help them behave appropriately in various situations. I used them quite frequently with my son when he was younger and found them extremely beneficial. They'd be ideal for your 5-year-old granddaughter.

Type “social stories” into YouTube and you'll find many examples of animated social stories. They include common situations that kids encounter at school and at home such as “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” “Stay Seated on a Bus,” “Always Be a Good Sport,” “Being Teased at School,” and “Put Your Toys Away.” They're short and the messages are conveyed in a cute and engaging way that's clear and concise. I'd watch them with my son and then we'd practice the appropriate behavior step-by-step. When he got it down, he'd earn a sticker on his chart.

In a unique situation like your granddaughter's, it's recommended that you create your own social story with words and pictures. However, to do so, you would need insight into why your granddaughter did what she did. Was she trying to be funny? Was she being bullied? Was she trying to become friends with the girl? A social story isn't effective unless you can pinpoint what caused the behavior and, therefore, can find the remedy for it. A social story about how to handle a bully would be very different than one about how to make friends with someone.

The psychologist or resource teacher at your granddaughter's school probably has a collection of social stories in her office. She would also be able to help you write one about the milk incident (they're created in a very deliberate way and have certain essential elements). If she's not currently working with your granddaughter one-on-one or in a small group, you should request that she start. You shouldn't be doing this alone but with a professional.

Additionally, if your granddaughter is struggling with peers because of speech issues (articulation, social communication, receptive or expressive language), she should be working with the school's speech therapist.

Updated on September 10, 2019

Original Article:

Help Your Autistic Child Make Friends: What Worked for My Son and Me
By McKenna Meyers

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)