Increasing appropriate social interactions of children with autistic spectrum disorders using social stories

Dorothy Scattone


To date there are only a handful of studies to validate the use of social stories as an effective behavioral intervention. Most of these studies have been conducted in order to decrease inappropriate behaviors (e.g., aggression, screaming, and grabbing toys) rather than teaching appropriate social skills, and most studies combined social stories with another intervention. This study investigated the effectiveness of social stories used without the combination of another intervention in order to increase appropriate social interactions (i.e., conversation or play skills) of 3 children with autistic spectrum disorders who were between the ages of 8 and 13 toward their peers via a multiple baseline design. During baseline, participants demonstrated little appropriate social interaction although all had some previously acquired functional expressive language. An increase in appropriate social interactions occurred for 2 of the 3 participants when the intervention was implemented. The findings suggest that social stories used in isolation may be a valuable intervention for some children with autism; however, the population for whom they are most effective has not been identified.