Examination of Social Story Format on Frequency of Undesired Behaviors

Robyn Thompson, Ph.D.

University of Utah


Susan S. Johnston, Ph.D.

University of Utah


The purpose of this investigation was to explore whether a difference existed between the effectiveness of paper-based format and tablet computer-based format Social Story interventions on frequency of undesired behaviors. An adapted alternating treatment design was implemented with four children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Data regarding frequency of undesired behaviors during target activities as well as social validity data regarding the perceived effectiveness and efficiency of the interventions were collected. Results revealed that Social Stories presented in both paper-based and tablet computer-based formats were effective in decreasing undesired behaviors when compared to baseline conditions, and that a notable difference did not exist between the effectiveness of the paper-based and tablet computer-based formats. Social validity data provided strong support for the use of both paper-based and tablet computer-based Social Story interventions in early childhood classrooms. Behavioral outcomes did not vary across paper-based and tablet computer-based formats. However, social validity data revealed that interventionist preference did vary across formats suggesting that interventionist preference should be considered when developing and implementing Social Story interventions.

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