Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

John Filler

Second Committee Member

Jeffrey Gelfer

Third Committee Member

Catherine Lyons

Fourth Committee Member

Scott Loe

Number of Pages



Young children with autism often experience delays in social skills and social competence. These delays result in poor relationships and decreased social interactions and engagement, and eventually, social isolation and withdrawal. Social skills deficits are also correlated to behavioral and emotional difficulties. Addressing these delays is critical to minimize not only delayed social development, but also detrimental effects on academic learning and performance. Ensuring young children are proficient in a variety of prosocial skills is critical for favorable long-term outcomes and school success.

The purpose of this study was to use a multiple baseline design to determine whether a Social Story intervention with a modified perspective sentence would be effective to increase verbal social initiations and decrease maladaptive behaviors in two settings for four young children with autism. The Social Story intervention was implemented in the classroom prior to structured play centers. Data were collected daily during the structured play centers and recess.

Results of this study indicated a statistically significant effect for one student participant in relation to increased verbal social initiations. Visual analysis of the data also indicated a positive effect for two additional student participants in regard to verbal social initiations. The data indicated an effect for only one of the student participants related to maladaptive behaviors. However, the participating classroom teacher indicated favorable results for all student participants and positive attitudes toward use of the intervention and likelihood that she would use the intervention again.


Autism; Autistic children; Preschool children; Social skills – Study and teaching; Storytelling


Educational Methods | Special Education and Teaching

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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