Social stories in mainstream schools for children with autism spectrum disorder: a feasibility randomised controlled trial

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To assess the feasibility of recruitment, retention, outcome measures and intervention training/delivery among teachers, parents and children. To calculate a sample size estimation for full trial.

DESIGN: A single-centre, unblinded, cluster feasibility randomised controlled trial examining Social Stories delivered within a school environment compared with an attentional control.

SETTING: 37 primary schools in York, UK.

PARTICIPANTS: 50 participants were recruited and a cluster randomisation approach by school was examined. Participants were randomised into the treatment group (n=23) or a waiting list control group (n=27).

OUTCOME MEASURES: Acceptability and feasibility of the trial, intervention and of measurements required to assess outcomes in a definitive trial.

RESULTS: An assessment of the questionnaire completion rates indicated teachers would be most appropriate to complete the primary outcome measure. 2 outcome measures: the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS)-2 and a goal-based measure showed both the highest levels of completion rates (above 80%) at the primary follow-up point (6 weeks postintervention) and captured relevant social and behaviour outcomes. Power calculations were based on these 2 outcome measures leading to a total proposed sample size of 180 participant groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Results suggest that a future trial would be feasible to conduct and could inform the policy and practice of using Social Stories in mainstream schools.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere011748
Number of pages11
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2016

Cite this