Children with language impairment (LI) demonstrate pragmatic, or social skills, deficits that limit their abilities to interact with peers and negatively affect social and educational growth (Brinton, Robinson, & Fujiki, 2004). LI has been associated with increased behavior problems, which some researchers contribute to children’s inability to effectively communicate (Johnston & Reichle, 1993). When children are disruptive in the classroom, academic achievement is lessened for all of the students present (Fletcher, 2010). Interventions to improve social skills can also result in reducing disruptive behavior in children with LI (Brinton & Fujiki, 2006). Social Stories (Gray & Garand, 1993), an intervention initally implemented with children with autism, is reported to improve social abilities (Sansosti & Powell-Smith, 2006) with an associated result of decreasing disruptive behavior (Delano & Stone, 2008). Social Stories, however, has not been investigated in children with language and behavior difficulties. The current study investigated two Social Stories interventions to determine if either was effective in reducing disruptive behaviors in children with LI. An alternative multiple baseline across participant design was used with six second-grade students. In individual sessions, the participants read personalized stories similar to Social Stories during Baseline, Social Stories during Intervention 1, and their Social Stories with practicing the skills during Intervention 2. After 25 sessions, the intervention ended. A total of 25 sessions were completed, followed a two week break and three follow-up video observations without additional intervention. Although not statistically significant, visual inspection analysis indicated reduced disruptive behavior in five of the six student participants. Post-testing indicated that five of the six student participants demonstrated improved pragmatic language abilities. Overall, Social Stories plus rehearsal proved to be a non-significant, but promising, intervention associated with decreased disruptive behaviors and improved social skills and classroom functioning in children with language impairment. The percentage of non-overlapping data reached a significant level for one participant in one treatment phase, although the student participants demonstrated improved pragmatic language skills and teachers rated them with fewer behavior difficulties in the classroom upon post-testing.
|Advisor:||Lance, Dee M.|
|Commitee:||Bihm, Elson, Gentry, Betholyn, Gregg, Brent, Robinson, Gregory, Scoles, Michael|
|School:||University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences|
|Department:||Communication Sciences and Disorders|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Child language, Disruptive behavior, Intervention, Social stories|
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