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Using Story-Based Interventions to Support Social Cognition in ASD

presented by Tiffany Hutchins, Ph.D. and Patricia A. Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Tiffany Hutchins & Patricia A. Prelock receive compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Tiffany Hutchins & Patricia A. Prelock have no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulty with the social code when interacting with their communication partners. The question becomes, how might we support social cognition so children with ASD can participate in meaningful social encounters? In this course you will learn about an evidence-based intervention called social stories; these are short stories that break down the social code and scaffold social learning opportunities for children with ASD. Social Stories(TM) have been rigorously evaluated and have been identified as one of 11 established treatments for ASD by the National Standards Project (2009,2015). Participants will learn how to develop and individualize a social story for a child with ASD to build their social cognition in new and challenging social contexts.

Meet Your Instructors

Tiffany Hutchins, Ph.D.

Tiffany L. Hutchins is an associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Vermont. She earned an interdisciplinary Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience in experimental psychology and communication sciences and disorders at the University of South Florida in 2002. Dr. Hutchins' research focuses on social cognition in typical and atypical…

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Patricia A. Prelock, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, BCS-CL

Patricia Prelock, Ph.D.,CCC-SLP, BCS-CL, is Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Professor of Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Professor of Pediatrics in the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. Dr. Prelock coordinates parent training programs designed for caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders and has been awarded more than…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Defining Social Stories

This section of the course is designed to explain the new criteria and guidelines for developing social stories as described by Carol Gray (2010). It is important to understand the development of social stories as they are a frequently used intervention for children with ASD.

2. The Theoretical Basis for Social Stories

This section of the course examines the theoretical basis for the use of social stories for children with autism. The presenters will examine theoretical explanations for autism including theory of mind deficits, weak central coherence, and deficits in executive function and how the use of social stories might address each of these deficit areas.

3. Key Recommendations for Developing a Social Story

In this section of the presentation, the key components for developing a social story will be reviewed. A sample social story will be provided with an explanation of the components. Examples of social stories that are ineffective teaching tools and do not represent what is intended will be contrasted with an effective social story. It is important that clinicians know the key components for writing an effective social story that can lead to generalized learning about what to expect and what to do in social situations.

4. The Empirical Support for Social Stories and Directions for Future Research

This section of the course examines the empirical evidence for the use of social stories for children with autism. The current research highlights the benefits of social stories in reducing undesired behavior, increasing communication skills and promoting social skills will be presented. Participants will also learn about the limitations in the current research.

5. Developing a Social StoryTM

This section of the course gives participants an opportunity to experience the evaluation of a social story developed in response to the needs of a 12-year old girl with autism. An original social story developed by a clinician will be presented. The presenters will then walk through the components of an effective social story (e.g., having an introduction, body and conclusion, assessing tone, examining appropriateness of the visual supports included, etc.) making changes that follow the guidelines for creating meaningful social stories. This section will end with a new social story incorporating the recommended changes.

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