Efectul Povestilor Sociale

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    Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions

    DOI: 10.1177/10983007060080010501

    2006; 8; 29Journal of Positive Behavior InterventionsMonica Delano and Martha E. Snell

    The Effects of Social Stories on the Social Engagement of Children with Autism

    http://pbi.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/8/1/29The online version of this article can be found at:

    Published by:Hammill Institute on Disabilities

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    The Effects of Social Stories on the SocialEngagement of Children with Autism

    Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions

    Volume 8, Number 1,Winter 2006, pages 2942

    Abstract: A multiple-probe design across participants was used to evaluate the effects of social

    stories on the duration of appropriate social engagement and the frequency of 4 social skills in

    3 elementary-age students with autism. The social skills were seeking attention, initiating com-ments, initiating requests, and making contingent responses. Following the intervention, which

    consisted of reading individualized social stories, answering comprehension questions, and

    participating in a 10-min play session, the duration of social engagement increased for all 3 stu-

    dents with both a training peer and a novel peer. The number of target social skills displayed

    during the 10-min play sessions increased after the intervention was introduced. Two students

    demonstrated generalization to a classroom setting. These findings suggest that the use of so-

    cial stories without additional social skill interventions may be effective in increasing the dura-

    tion of social engagement and the frequency of specific social skills.

    Monica Delano

    Florida State University

    Martha E. Snell

    University of Virginia

    29

    Deficits in functional language and social interaction are adefining characteristic of children with autism (Kanner,1943). Unfortunately, these deficits not only impede thechilds development but also may lead to social withdrawaland isolation. Children who are socially withdrawn, inturn, may be rejected by peers (Rubin & Clark, 1983) andconsequently may be more likely to develop behavioralproblems than their peers (Ollendick, Weist, Borden, &Greene, 1992). In addition, challenging behavior may serveas a form of communication when language and socialdevelopment are delayed. Therefore, improving socialfunctioning is one of the most important intervention out-comes for children with autism.

    Gray and Garand (1993) introduced the social storyintervention as a method of teaching children with autismhow to read social situations. A social story is a shortstory that describes the salient aspects of a specific socialsituation that a child may find challenging. Social storiesalso explain the likely reactions of others in a situation andprovide information about appropriate social responses.Gray (1995) and others (e.g., Attwood, 1998) have pro-posed that this intervention is consistent with theory ofmind (Baron-Cohen, 1995) accounts of autism, whichsuggest that individuals with autism have difficulty under-

    standing that others have perspectives different from theirown (Leslie, 1987). This difficulty in attributing thoughtsto others may make interpreting social information prob-lematic for individuals with autism. Social stories aim toteach social-perspective-taking by helping children inter-pret social cues and identify appropriate responses.

    According to Gray (2000), a story should be individ-ualized and consist of four basic types of sentences: (a) de-scriptive, (b) directive, (c) perspective, and (d) affirmative.Gray also defined the relationship between different typesof sentences in the Basic Social Story Ratio, suggesting thata social story should have a ratio of 2 to 5 descriptive, per-spective,and/or affirmative sentences for every 0 to 1 direc-

    tive sentence. This means that for every directive sentencein the story there will be two to five other sentences in thestory. Though this method is not based on empirical re-search, Gray suggested adhering to these guidelines to en-sure that the story describes a situation and does notmerely direct the childs behavior.

    Gray and Garand (1993) stated that excellent resultshave been obtained through the use of social stories, andsince their introduction, social stories have been adoptedby many practitioners and are described in several recentmethods texts (e.g., Quill, 2000; Simpson & Smith Myles,

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    Volume 8, Number 1, Winter 2006 31

    with peers, especially if the interaction exceeded one ortwo turns.

    Sean was a Caucasian boy, 6 years of age, who was re-ceiving special education services as a student with autism.During the course of the study he was fully included in a

    kindergarten class and received speechlanguage services.His academic performance was below grade-level expecta-tions. Sean spoke fluently and with long phrases. Teachersreported that he frequently initiated interaction withadults but often played by himself instead of seeking peerattention.

    Thomas was a Caucasian boy, 9 years of age, who wasreceiving special education services as a student with au-tism. He participated in a second-grade class for the ma-jority of the school day. He received individual discretetrial training for 2 hours per day and speechlanguage ser-vices for an hour per week. Thomas spoke fluently, usinglong phrases. According to school records, he was reading

    on a first-grade level and could write a three- to five-sentence paragraph using a prompting format of first,next, and last.

    The six typical peers, three boys and three girls, werenominated by their teachers. Three of the typical peerswere randomly assigned to serve as training peers and wereplay partners during intervention sessions. The other threepeers were assigned to serve as novel peers and were playpartners during play sessions that assessed generalizationacross people.

    SETTING

    Study participants attended the same elementary schoollocated in a rural area with a population of 14,000 and ina school district that served 2,000 students. Interventionsessions for the kindergarten students occurred in the playarea of a resource classroom. Setting generalization probesfor these students were taken during center time in theirrespective kindergarten classroom. During center time stu-dents had an opportunity to play in small groups and witha variety of materials (e.g., art, building, pretend play). In-tervention sessions for the second-grade student occurredat a table in an open area between classrooms. Setting gen-eralization probes were taken during an afternoon break

    time in the second-grade classroom.

    DEPENDENT MEASURES

    As shown in Table 1, a coding scheme was developed forthis investigation based on the work of Thiemann andGoldstein (2001), Kamps et al. (1992), Niemeyer and Mc-Evoy (1989), and others using similar codes for social skillsresearch (e.g., Dugan et al., 1995). Duration data were col-lected for the following dependent measures: (a) appropri-ate social engagement with peer, (b) inappropriate socialengagement, and (c) the absence of engagement with peer.

    Data were also collected on the frequency of four target so-cial skills: seeking attention, initiating comments, initiat-ing requests, and making contingent responses. These werethe same skills identified by Thiemann and Goldstein(2001), with modified definitions.

    Observation sessions were videotaped with a digitalcamcorder. These tapes were then downloaded to a laptopcomputer and converted to MPEG movie files such that a10-min movie file was created for each experimental ses-sion. Movie files were coded using a computerized datacollection system, PROCODER DV (Tapp, 2003). As theobserver watched the movie, data were collected on bothduration measures and frequency measures.

    After each movie was coded, the corresponding datafile was exported to the Multi-Option Observation Systemfor Experimental Studies (MOOSES; Tapp & Wehby, 1992),a computerized data-collection and data-analysis system.This program was used to analyze the data from

    PROCODER DVfiles so that the total duration or total fre-quency could be determined for each dependent measure.

    Periodic