Social Studies: A user-friendly intervention?
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders involving impairments in social interaction, language and communication, and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped behaviors (National Institute of Mental Health [NIMH], 2007; Steurnagel, 2005). Deficits in social skills can hinder learning progression and sociability. Social stories are used to teach social skills about a particular event and provide information for better understanding of the expected or appropriate responses within specific situations (Autism Education Network, 2006). They are a means of providing cues, usually visual in nature, for children with ASDs to give meaning and accurate depictions of social contexts and how best to be or maneuver in a variety of situations. Gray (2000a, 2000b, 2004) has systematized her version of Social Stories™ and provided definitive guidelines for writing Social Stories™ in her publications, videos, and seminars. The extent to which Social Stories™ are user friendly was examined in this research. Fifteen parents and professional educators read a condensed version of Gray's (2004) guidelines and then wrote a social story for a boy named Zac. Participants then received more extensive training from a power point presentation narrated by the researcher. Finally, participants wrote a second social story for a boy named Jon. Participants demonstrated some knowledge of the components of social stories after only reading the condensed version. Overall demonstration of Social Story™ writing skills showed lack of knowledge of sentence types and usage, especially of directive statements. After the additional training, participants demonstrated increased knowledge and skill of the major aspects of writing Social Stories™ (e.g., different sentence types and usage, including an appropriate title, and language components).
Thesis (M.Ed.)--Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational, and School Psychology