Effects of social story intervention on joint attention initiation behaviors of children with autism

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Effects of social story intervention on joint attention initiation behaviors of children with autism

 

Author: Tam, Wai-sze Candice
Title: Effects of social story intervention on joint attention initiation behaviors of children with autism
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2010
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Autistic children -- Rehabilitation.
Autism in children -- Treatment
Joint attention
Narrative therapy
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: xii, 83, [6] leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 31 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2356219
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/5826
Abstract: Purpose: Children with autism showed deficits in using joint attention initiation behaviors, either combined or alone, including gaze shift, pointing, showing and making verbal comment, to share attention with a social partner on an object and/or an event. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of social story intervention on facilitating the joint attention initiation behaviors of children with autism. Methodology: An ABA research design was conduct and six preschoolers with autism aged 4 to 6 participated in this study. Prior to the intervention, all participants' mothers joined a training session. It aimed to explain the objectives of this study and their role in the generalization phase of this study. All participants were assessed their joint attention initiation behaviors. The whole study consisted of 13 weekly sessions: 3-week baseline phase, 4-week intervention phase and 6-week maintenance phase. Each session lasted for 15 minutes. For all sessions, the participants' joint attention initiation behaviors were elicited by consecutive activations of five child-preferred toy probes. Frequency and form of joint attention initiation behaviors towards the researcher of this study produced by the participants were coded and measured. A self-developed social story titled "How can I share something interesting with others?" was read by the researcher of this study in the intervention phase. The generalization of the joint attention initiation behaviors directed to the participants' mothers were also analyzed. Results: Using the two standard deviation band method (p=0.05), all participants had significant frequency increase of joint attention initiation behaviors in the intervention phase. Compared with their baseline performance, their frequency mean of joint attention initiation behaviors in the intervention phase increased from 1 initiation to 4 initiations. Also, all of them maintained the target behaviors with the frequency mean of 4 initiations at the maintenance phase. All participants only produced monotype behaviors in the baseline phase (i.e. verbalization). Use of 2-type and 3-type combination of joint attention initiation behaviors such as gaze shift or pointing with verbalization improved after the intervention. All participants maintained the use of 3-type combination of joint attention initiation behaviors at the maintenance phase (i.e. gaze shift with pointing and verbalization). Some generalization of the target behaviors directed to the participants' mother was noted. Informal feedback from four of the participants' mother reported that their children could begin to produce joint attention initiation behaviors at home. Discussions: Findings of this study indicated that joint attention initiation behaviors of children with autism could be enhanced by the social stories. The use of child-preferred toys with multiple effects such as movement with auditory-visual effects, the presence of a familiar social partner and the immediate positive feedback by a social partner were suggested. Future research can examine the function of using partial sentences in the social story to facilitate generalization of joint attention initiation behaviors among children with autism. Group comparison on the intervention effectiveness between social story intervention and behavioral approach on joint attention behaviors could be conducted.

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