Differentiated Animated Social Stories to Enhance Social Skills Acquisition of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Differentiated Animated Social Stories to Enhance Social Skills Acquisition of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Bee Theng Lau (Swinburne University of Technology – Sarawak, Malaysia) and Ko Min Win (Swinburne University of Technology – Sarawak, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 30
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2838-8.ch014
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Abstract

This study developed a web-based social skills intervention system accessible via a tablet/laptop computer which combines differentiated instructions, social stories, multimedia, and animations. This creates an interactive learning environment which (1) allows children to learn social skills repeatedly and pervasively; and (2) promotes teacher/caretaker-parent collaborations to boost the ASD children's social skills acquisition as, a simple logon to the portal enables parents/ caretakers and teachers to view the media prepared by others; track and reinforce the skills a child has learnt at home/ in school, and add his/her social stories which others can view. The prototype evaluation and observation of voluntary participants from the special education school who were treated with differentiated animated social stories demonstrates that digital-based differentiated social story interventions have made the learning of social skills more interactive, appealing and effective compared to the traditional social skill tools.
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Autism And Social Skills

Autism Spectrum Disorders, as described by National Institute of Mental Health (2014), are a group of complex disorders of brain development which cause deficiencies in social and communication skills which are vital to human lives and to survival in the workplace. They are interactive skills learned through socialization to stimulate positive responses from people whom they interact with. The ASD problem is serious and ASD cases are on the rise. According to the report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012, 1 in 88 American children have some form of ASD, a 78% increase in the number compared to that of about a decade before (Falco, 2012; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). According to the National Autistic Society United Kingdom (2013), 1.1% of its population (2011 population census) had autism. Although no one has so far been able to identify what exactly triggers ASD, there are two factors which seem to be related to ASD: genetic factors and environment factors (National Institutes of Mental Health, 2014; Research Autism, 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Skills: Interactive skills which we acquire by socializing with people in the society, use to communicate and significantly build relationship with people in the society.

Generalized animated social story: An animated social story which is created to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in general (i.e. without targeting any specific group or individual) in acquiring associated social skill.

Differentiated Instruction: An effective teaching framework which encourages teachers to differentiate instructions to meet the needs of every student in the classroom add in its features.

Differentiated animated social story: An animated social story which is differentiated according to the data from intervention with generalized animated social story to meet the needs of assigned participants to the story to help them acquire associated social skill.

Intervention: A process of intervening or treatment to help children with ASD in acquiring social skills.

Social Story App (SSA): A web-based software prototype developed in this study to aid in differentiating and delivering processes.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: A set of complex brain developmental disorders which cause deficits in social and communication skills.

Baseline: An original state of a certain social skill of a participant before interventions of this study.

Social story: A short story used in the Social Story Approach to teach social skills to children diagnosed with ASD; each story presents a certain social situation together with responses from different aspects and gives advice on interactions.

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