Interview: Social Stories and children with #Autism and Online Webinar Announcement!

I am so pleased that I had a chance to interview Dr. Lisa Wright on Acting Balanced today!  Dr. Lisa Wright is a faculty member at Kaplan University and is regarded as a content expert on assessment and autism in the Department of Educational Studies.  She has published research on interventions for preschoolers with autism. Today, she has graciously offered some insights into Social Stories and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders:

1. What are social stories and how are they important as part of helping people with Autism Spectrum Disorders?

Social Stories are individualized short stories written to help explain confusing situations for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). They may be effective in assisting children with ASD in understanding social situations, describing and explaining appropriate behavior and providing appropriate responses to a variety of situations.

2. What are key components to a social story that works?

It is important that the stories are individualized and written at the child's developmental level. In addition, the Social Stories should use visual strategies which are often a strength in children with ASD. Prior to writing a Social Story, a problem behavior or situation should be identified and data should be collected from multiple sources such as the child, teachers, parents and anyone else with information that can be helpful. There is a specific format for the story that should be followed, and it is also important that understanding be assessed to be sure the child comprehends the story. As with all interventions, progress should be monitored and modifications implemented accordingly.

3. How can parents create social stories that meet their child's individual needs?

Carol Gray developed Social Stories and has many books and a website with instructions on how to write Social Stories including example stories. In addition, there are a plethora of Apps and web based internet sites that offer methods of creating and sharing Social Stories and other social narratives.

4. Your study had a limited sample size - how were you able to draw broader conclusions and do you have plans to expand your research?

With low incidence disabilities such as autism, it is common practice to research using single subject design. The results of these small scale studies make up a substantial research base that can generalize to other children with autism. Ideally, large scale random control trials will occur in the future.

5. What advice can you give to parents, teachers and caregivers about using social stories to enhance the lives of people with autism?

Social Stories are a fairly easy and inexpensive intervention to use with children with ASD that are generally well received by children, parents and teachers. They are easily modified as needed and are unobtrusive. They can be read to non-readers, and children who read can read them by themselves in traditional book format. Most children can use the tablet, computer and smart phone versions of Social Stories making this intervention easily accessible for a wide range of families and children.

If you want to learn more, you should check out this fabulous and FREE webinar that Dr. Wright is going to be a part of:

In recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, Kaplan University’s College of Public Service would like to invite you to a webinar on autism: “Autism in the Real World: Recognition, Resources, and the Future.”  Learn from a panel of experts as they address the importance of early intervention in autism and resources that can benefit children and their families throughout the lifespan.  

Join Kaplan University’s College of Public Service at 7:00 pm ET on Wednesday, April 17  for a multidisciplinary webinar that will benefit parents of individuals with autism, professionals currently working in the field, and those interested in entering the field.  Attendees will learn about:

·         Early intervention and resources in autism that can benefit children and their families in accessing research-based strategies to promote function in all children.
·         The need for community resources and access throughout the lifespan for individuals with autism and their families.

Share your thoughts and ideas and hear what our panelists have to say.
Meet the Panelists:
Patti_PelletierDr. Patti Pelletier
Dr. Patti Pelletier is the Educational Studies Academic Chair for Kaplan University.  She has been an advocate for early austism identification for all children for the past 20 years and has published research on school readiness. As a parent of an autistic child herself, she has presented on the topic of a parent’s perspective in raising a child with disabilities.

Dr. Lisa Wright
Dr. Lisa Wright is a faculty member at Kaplan University and is regarded as a content expert on assessment and autism in the Department of Educational Studies.  She has published research on interventions for preschoolers with autism and collaborates with colleagues at the University of Missouri where she is also a faculty member in the Early Childhood Teacher Certification Program.
Malika Pritchett, MS, BCBA
Malika is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and an adjunct faculty member in undergraduate Psychology for Kaplan University. She currently resides in Austin, Texas, where she owns her own private practice that provides behavioral and consulting services with a specialization in community-based services for adults with moderate to severe challenging behaviors.

Do not miss this opportunity to learn more about autism and the importance of early intervention and resources for children and their families.

To attend this free interactive webinar on April 17 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm ET*:

1.       Click here to register:  You must register to attend. Registration will ensure that you receive an email reminder and the webinar recording after the event. If you have difficulty accessing the registration page, please do not use Internet Explorer as your browser. For best results, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

2.       On April 17, a few minutes prior to 7:00 pm ET†, click here:  Enter your email address and the password you created when registering. You must be logged in to view the live event.