Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Special Education and Rehabilitation

Committee Chair(s)

Charles Salzberg


Charles Salzberg


Mike is a 22 year-old adult with CHARGE Syndrome and autism spectrum conditions. Mike often struggles to greet and interact appropriately when people come to visit him and his family at his house. The purpose of this project was to help Mike improve his greeting and overall social skills. One event that seems to provoke problem behavior in people with autism is sudden unannounced schedule changes. Advanced warning of schedule changes have been used to prepare people with disabilities similar to Mike’s to teach social and behavioral skills. Social stories have also been used as an intervention to give individuals with disabilities scripted information that they can follow in social situations. This study used an advanced warning strategy during intervention 1. This strategy did not prove to be successful. Therefore we implemented a second strategy consisting of an advanced warning as well as a social story intervention. Social stories were created involving Mike and each of his seven nieces and nephews. Baseline data was collected before the interventions were implemented on whether Mike greeted his nieces and nephews in a friendly manner, on Mike’s attitude, outbursts, and on whether he engaged each child in an activity during the visit. This same data was collected during each phase of the study. Intervention one, advanced warning phase proved to be unsuccessful. The second, social story intervention, including an advanced warning plus social story, required Mike to read the social story aloud to an adult before the visiting children arrived. This intervention resulted in an increase in friendly greetings, positive attitude, and involvement in activities with the visiting children. Engaged in activities with the nieces and nephews, and outbursts showed little change. Mikes overall attitude during the visits made some improvement.


This work made publicly available electronically on August 30, 2011.