Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

An Analysis of the Use of Social Stories in Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders*

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

An Analysis of the Use of Social Stories in Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders*

Article excerpt

The DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) defines ASD as a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by deficits in three core areas: communication, social interaction, and repetitive and restricted interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). However, the newly published DSM-5 changes the definition of ASD to specify deficits in just two core areas: social communication and repetitive and restricted interests (American Psychiatric Association, 2012). This change highlights the importance of social relatedness as being a key core deficit in ASD.

Children with ASD display limitations with the non-verbal behavior necessary for social interaction. They are not able to develop age-appropriate peer relationships and they show limitations in sharing interest, success and pleasure with others and they display limited social-emotional behaviors (Hall, 2009; Kircaali-Iftar, 2007; Thompson, 2007). One of the most pronounced deficiencies of children with ASD are with social skills such as initiating and responding to conversation, changing a routine, understanding how other people may feel or think, and responding appropriately in a social situation, as these things hinder social interaction with peers and those in their environment (Chamberlain, Kasari, & Rotheram-Fuller, 2007; Cotugno, 2009; Reichow & Volkmar, 2010; Schneider & Goldstein, 2010). Inappropriate social behaviors might also adversely impact a student's ability to carry out tasks and engage with others. The deficits in social behaviors might become more apparent, more distinctive and more critical when individuals with ASD reach school-age and adulthood. All in all, owing to the fact that social skills are an important aspect of our routine lives, improving social functionality is one of the most important intervention measures for individuals with ASD (Heward, 2013; Weiss & Harris, 2001). Because of this importance, the social skills of children with ASD have been a focus of researchers for the last decade.

A variety of evidence based interventions can be used for teaching social skills (National Autism Center [NAC], 2009; Rust & Smith, 2006). One of these evidence based interventions used for teaching social skills to children with ASD is social stories (Ali & Frederickson, 2006; Gray, 2002; NAC, 2009). Over the past decade social stories have become a popular intervention strategy. Social stories were first developed by Carol Gray in 1991 with the aim of developing the social skills of children with ASD. Social stories are short stories which explain cues and appropriate responses to significant situations in a social context (Gray, 2002; Gray Center, 1998), and they may be prepared in a written or visual form (Gray, 2002). In this context, social stories play an important role for children with ASD in better understanding social situations and acquiring independence (Heward, 2013; Schneider & Goldstein, 2010).

Social stories are different from other instructional stories as they are shorter than other stories used for instruction and emphasize the student's perspective because they are written from the perspective of the student using first person language (Gray, 2000; Gray & Garand, 1993). A social story can consist of these types of sentences: (i) descriptive (i.e., provides information about the social setting, who is involved, and why they are doing it), (ii) perspective (i.e., provides information about the internal states of others), (in) affirmative (i.e., expresses a commonly shared value), (iv) directive (i.e., provides information about what a student should do in the situation), (v) control (i.e., sentences written by the student which help them identify strategies to remember the story), and (vi) cooperative (i.e., provides information about what others will do to assist the student) (Gray, 2002). These sentences should be written in ratio. The basic social story ratio consists of two to five descriptive, perspective, and affirmative sentences for every directive sentence (Gray, 2002; Gray & Garand, 1993). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.