Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 660–668 | Cite as

Social Stories for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Validating the Content of a Virtual Reality Program

  • Parisa GhanouniEmail author
  • Tal Jarus
  • Jill G. Zwicker
  • Joseph Lucyshyn
  • Kristin Mow
  • Alyssa Ledingham
Original Paper


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects socio-emotional skills and perspective-taking abilities. Although social stories in a form of virtual reality program can help children with ASD, developing them and identifying appropriate responses might be subjective and thus challenging. Using Delphi method, and guided by general case training, we involved 63 parents and clinicians of individuals with ASD, in two rounds of online iteration to refine the stories. Scenarios that reached a 75% agreement level were accepted. This project is the first study to develop and validate a library of 75 short socio-emotional stories that illustrate various types and intensities of emotion in three social contexts of home, school, and community as the content of a virtual reality program.


ASD Social stories General case training Virtual reality programs Emotion recognition Perspective taking 



We would like to express our sincere thanks to funding agencies, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies for their great support.

Author Contributions

Dr. Ghanouni, Dr. Jarus, Kristin Mow, and Alyssa Ledingham were involved in study design, ethics application, analysis of data, and writing or editing the manuscript. Dr. Zwicker and Dr. Lucyshyn were involved in the study design, editing, and reviewing the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University Behavioural Research Ethics Board.

Informed Consent

We obtained written informed consent from all participants prior to the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parisa Ghanouni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tal Jarus
    • 2
  • Jill G. Zwicker
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
  • Joseph Lucyshyn
    • 7
  • Kristin Mow
    • 2
  • Alyssa Ledingham
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Occupational TherapyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.Department of Occupational Science and Occupational TherapyUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  3. 3.Department of Pediatrics (Division of Developmental Pediatrics)University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  4. 4.Child & Family Research InstituteVancouverCanada
  5. 5.Sunny Hill Health Centre for ChildrenVancouverCanada
  6. 6.CanChild Centre for Childhood Disability ResearchHamiltonCanada
  7. 7.Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Faculty of EducationUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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