Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)


School of Nursing


Julie Strunk

Betsy Herron

Katherine Robinson


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience significant emotional stress when they visit a healthcare provider. The focus of this research project was to explore the use of social narratives to help reduce stress associated with this environment. Social narratives are short stories designed to walk a child through a potential situation that they will encounter, that they may not be familiar with, or that they are not currently handling properly. As part of an initial literature review, evidence for the need for additional intervention in the healthcare setting for children with ASD was established. Continuing literature review then focused on the use of social narratives in children with ASD, establishing a set of best practices for using social narratives within that population. These studies showed promise that the social narratives could be an effective intervention to reduce stress in these environments. Results from this literature review helped to point out the need for further narrative development specific to children with ASD, establish the validity of the practice, and determine additional controls and variables required to develop an effective set of social narratives for this population for use in medical settings. In the next phase of this work, further research will be conducted using a new set of social narratives for children with ASD to establish what factors need to be present to maximize the effectiveness of reducing stress and anxiety related to transitions and unfamiliarity in the healthcare setting with this intervention.



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