A multiple probe across participants design was used to examine the effects of intervention on reality-based fictional narratives. Four boys with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and language disorder, aged 9–10, participated in a 1:1 intervention targeting the narrative macrostructure elements of character, setting, problem, feelings, and fix. Intervention involved clinician modelling, participants saying the entire narrative, narrative stimulus pictures, and macrostructure icons. An intervention effect, maintenance, and generalization to fantasy-based fictional narratives were demonstrated for three participants. Social validity measures indicated that a naive observer-rated post-intervention narratives as better than pre-intervention narratives. This study adds to the limited research into narrative intervention with children with ASD and co-occurring language disorder. The highly structured and semi-scripted intervention could be adapted to be delivered by teachers in small groups in the classroom. Areas for future research include implementing the intervention with small groups and targeting more complex narrative macrostructure.
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Scorer should not need shared knowledge to understand the information
Key words or phrases, but not specific or clear, may be attributed to the wrong person
No information or incorrect information
Main character’s name
Broad character description (e.g. the boy, the brother)
Activity and the location (e.g. eating pizza in the kitchen), “home” acceptable if story makes sense
Activity or location (e.g. say “home” or “eating pizza”)
No information or incorrect information
Statement of what went wrong in the story
Incomplete, not clear, uses vague vocabulary
No information or incorrect information
Feelings about the problem
Specific appropriate emotion
Emotion named but may be inappropriate, or general behaviour related to the problem (e.g. “didn’t like it)
No information or incorrect information
Specific information that states what characters (main or secondary) did to fix the problem, can use dialogue or description, may assume the voice of the character
Broad description of what was done (e.g. asked for help, X helped Y), correct actions but attributed to the wrong people or it’s unclear
No information or incorrect information
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Favot, K., Carter, M. & Stephenson, J. The Effects of an Oral Narrative Intervention on the Fictional Narratives of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Language Disorder. J Behav Educ 31, 657–678 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10864-021-09430-9
- Original fictional narrative
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Language disorder