Department of Psychology

Developing and Delivering Digital Behavioural Interventions (3DBI)

We are a research team based at the University of Bath, funded by The Leverhulme Trust to complete exciting new research developing technology to support the writing and delivery of Social Stories™.

What are Social Stories™?

Social Stories™ are short stories, written in a specific format and style that aim to accurately describe a context, skill or achievement (dinner time, bath time, waiting in line for example).

They provide a supportive visual tool to help children better understand what is happening during certain situations that they might find confusing and/or distressing.

Research has demonstrated that Social Stories™ can be an effective intervention for supporting people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), particularly in improving social and behavioural outcomes. However, findings can be mixed and this may be due to variations in how the Social Stories™ are written and/or presented to the child.

Our research project

 
Participants of the Developing and Delivering Digital Behavioural Interventions taking part in participatory design workshop sessions.

Participants taking part in participatory design workshop sessions.

 

As part of our research we will be developing a new interactive, personalised Social Story™ computer-based tool. The system will support the development of appropriately-structured Social Stories™ and their effective delivery to the children through personalised computer characters.

The primary goal of the computer system is to improve wellbeing in the ASD population, and in their parents/carers, by reducing challenging behaviour. The unique approach to be adopted is one of inclusive design - to include children with ASD, their parents, carers, teachers and health professionals as an active part of the system design team. Children with autism typically enjoy using technology, and the proposed system will be capable of tailoring to individual needs of the children.

Online questionnaire

We would like to thank everyone who completed our online questionnaire and congratulate Maddy Conway - the winner of the £50 Amazon voucher.

It proved an extremely helpful exercise, both in terms of adding to current knowledge about how social stories are being used, and also in helping inform the development of our new social story app.

Initial reports

If you would like to receive a copy of the full report(s) then email: e.smith2@bath.ac.uk or a.constantin@bath.ac.uk

Team

Researchers

 
Aurora Constantin meeting Carol Gray during Social Stories training

Aurora Constantin meeting Carol Gray during Social Stories training.

 

Training

Dr Aurora Constantin and Dr Liz Smith have attended training delivered by Carol Gray on Social Stories™ 10.2.

Schools

We are working very closely with a local school – Fosse Way and have invited all the staff and parents of children at the school to take part in our research. We will be running a number of participatory design (PD) sessions during the development process to ensure that our new computer-based tool meets the end-users’ needs, wants and abilities.

Contact us

If you would like further information about this project then please email us: 3dbi@bath.ac.uk

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