Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of

Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of (PDF)

2022 • 88 Pages • 4.2 MB • English
Posted July 01, 2022 • Submitted by Superman

Visit PDF download

Download PDF To download page

Summary of Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of

Rowan University Rowan University Rowan Digital Works Rowan Digital Works Theses and Dissertations 9-7-2012 Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of students with autism spectrum disorders students with autism spectrum disorders Genna Graham Follow this and additional works at: Part of the Special Education and Teaching Commons Recommended Citation Recommended Citation Graham, Genna, "Using Facebook to improve social communication skills of students with autism spectrum disorders" (2012). Theses and Dissertations. 205. This Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by Rowan Digital Works. It has been accepted for inclusion in Theses and Dissertations by an authorized administrator of Rowan Digital Works. For more information, please contact [email protected] USING FACEBOOK TO IMPROVE SOCIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS OF STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS by Genna E. Graham A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Special Education College of Education In partial fulfillment of the requirement For the degree of Masters of Arts at Rowan University May 3, 2012 Thesis Chair: Joy Xin, Ph.D. Dedication I would like to dedicate this paper to my parents for their undying support and continual belief in my abilities. Also, to my husband for his love and patience during this whole process. Acknowledgements I would like to express my appreciation to Dr. Xin for her continual help and support during my entire graduate career. Also, thank you to Yale School for their cooperation during this project. I would also like to thank Amy Myers for being flexible and patient with me in trying to achieve my goals and Jaime Rice for her guidance when I needed it most. iv Abstract Genna E. Graham USING FACEBOOK TO IMPROVE SOCIAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS IN STUDENTS WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS 2011/12 Joy Xin, Ph.D. Master of Arts in Special Education Facebook is a popular social media website that allows people to interact with friends and loved ones from far away and around the world. With its growing popularity, this study was conducted to examine if Facebook would improve social communication skills of students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A total of nine students with ASD on two school campuses participated in the study. A multiple baseline single subject design across settings was used. During the baseline, students were observed and their initiation and reciprocation in communication with peers and teachers were recorded. During the intervention, students were instructed to use Facebook over a two week period, with appropriate training to assist in improving conversational skills and providing appropriate personal information on the internet. The results showed that students improved their skills in initiating and reciprocating social communication through the use of Facebook, in the meantime, their face-to-face interactions with peers and teachers were increased. v Table of Contents Abstract v List of Figures vii List of Tables viii Chapter 1: Introduction 1 1.1 Statement of Problems 1 1.2 Significance of the Study 5 1.3 Purpose of the Study 5 Chapter 2: Literature Review 7 Chapter 3: Methodology 26 3.1 Context of the Study 26 3.2 Instrumentation 32 Chapter 4: Findings 39 Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendation 55 5.1 Summary 55 5.2 Conclusions 58 List of References 59 Appendix A 62 Appendix B 76 Appendix C 78 Appendix D 79 vi List of Figures Figure Page Figure 1: Initiation 39 Figure 2: Reciprocation 41 Figure 3: Initiation Frequencies of Students with PDD-NOS: Campus 1 42 Figure 4: Reciprocation Frequencies of Students with PDD-NOS: Campus 1 43 Figure 5: Initiation Frequencies of Students with PDD-NOS: Campus 2 44 Figure 6: Reciprocation Frequencies of Students with PDD-NOS: Campus 2 45 Figure 7: Initiation Frequencies of Students with Asperger’s Syndrome: Campus 1 46 Figure 8: Reciprocation Frequencies of Students with Asperger’s Syndrome: Campus 1 47 Figure 9: Initiation Frequencies of Students with Asperger’s Syndrome: Campus 2 48 Figure 10: Reciprocation Frequencies of Students with Asperger’s Syndrome: Campus 2 49 Figure 11: Initiation Frequencies of Students with Autism: Campus 1 50 Figure 12: Reciprocation Frequencies of Students with Autism: Campus 1 50 vii List of Tables Table Page Table 1: General Information of Participants 30 Table 2: Instructional Procedures 36-37 Table 3: Baseline and Intervention Measures from Campus 1 51 Table 4: Baseline and Intervention Measures from Campus 2 52 viii Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION Statement of Problems Communication is a significant part of our everyday lives. We need to communicate our wants and needs to others. According to Osgood (2010), students who have good communication and social/emotional skills may be more successful academically. When one has the ability to communicate with others in a positive manner, he/she will be able to establish positive relationships, which in turn build his/her own confidence and self-esteem. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a disability in which one lacks social communication, social interaction, and social imagination (Baird, Gillian, Cass, Hilary & Slonims, Vicky, 2003). Students with ASD tend to lack the ability to appropriately express themselves in social situations. This hinders their communication with peers and appropriate social skills to make friends. Studies show that students diagnosed with ASD have deficiencies in interacting with others and reciprocating communication. In turn, he/she may have difficulties making friends and maintaining friendships (Haq & Le Couteur, 2004). One who is diagnosed as ASD may have difficulties in communication, such as inferring information, taking another’s perspectives and even maintaining a conversation (Flynn, Lorna & Healy Olive, 2011). Although socials skills training provided in school allows students with ASD to learn communication skills to make friends, another social 1 outlet may be possible out of the classroom or school extra-curricular activities to help boost positive social communication and interaction. This is the current technology, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, to promote social interactions between people to establish social networks. Social networking in Internet and websites have provided opportunities for people to communicate through a computer or other electronic devices. Facebook or Twitter are two of the most popular social networking websites (Keenan, Andrew & Shiri, Ali, 2009). According to Lerhman (2010), Facebook has more than 350 million users registered. These social networking sites are primarily used by people connecting with friends and families to share about experiences and activities of their everyday lives, and to keep in touch with loved ones on a more consistent basis. Through the network, people can communicate immediately with those who live far away, or even to follow their favorite celebrity. In addition, Facebook ( allows users to play games with someone on their friend’s lists, upload different applications to interact with others, share links to various videos and websites. The social outlet within Facebook is unlimited and extremely varied. Facebook enables people to provide personal information in a public way. Users may provide their phone number(s), email address(es), and even home address, and also decide how much personal information to make public by adjusting the privacy settings. One may decide to make everything within his/her profile accessible to everyone or only allow those accepted as a friend to view this personal information. Facebook users have the ability to control what is on their profile and how much is 2 visible to others. In addition, Facebook users can engage in online gaming, like Farmville, with other users. This is another form of social communication to involve people to participate in. Using Facebook, one may update his/her status, meaning that anything could be shared with others, such as a joyous occasion, air out grievances, or just random thoughts. Other users may decide to comment on the status or simply “like” it. This is true for pictures as well, where one may upload as many pictures as he/she wishes and others may give comments. Users may even share news articles, contests, tips and advice, etc. that they find interesting by posting it to their Facebook page. It is appealing for most people which is why it is extremely popular (Lerhman, 2010). Although communication through social networking sites may appear to be easier because it eliminates the face-to-face, personal interaction, truth be told, while it may be difficult for those with same reasons. Social interactions require a level of understanding in terms of underlying insinuations, implications, nuances, etc. When using a social networking site such as Facebook, one may easily misinterpret, misread, or misunderstand a comment or status update in a negative or positive manner. Facebook holds a lot of power in the social and business world. Companies are using these programs to build social networking sites for their advertising needs, so that customers can be recruited (McKenzie & Ann Barrow, 2009). For instance, a teacher was dismissed from her position due to suggestive pictures she posted, while another was released due to a status update regarding frustrations with her students (Boston News, 2010). This information helps illustrate how influential Facebook is in today’s world for both adults 3 and adolescents. On that same note, one may argue that what we post, albeit photos, status updates, “checking into” various locations, “tagging” others, may seem innocent but can pose another hazard. Facebook allows users to set and change settings so that the personal profile can be public or private. However, if users are unsure of how to do so, or are reckless in their Facebook experience altogether, they may allow others to know more about themselves. This can be a problem, for instance, Lerhman (2010) indicated that the Weakest Link…could be that military families may breach security with the information they are publicly posting on Facebook. Too much information in a public forum such as Facebook can affect military deployment statuses (when they are leaving, when they are returning, where they are located.) This may be the same to civilians using Facebook, for example one may leave doors open for criminals and bullies to have full access to as much information about their identity and personality as possible. Taking into consideration that those with ASD have difficulty discerning appropriate social interactions from the inappropriate, do they know what is suitable for Facebook versus what is not? Will they be able to address another’s status update, posting, or comment in a fitting manner? Considering the popularity of these social networking sites, are schools providing any training to assist students with proper Facebook behavior? These are questions needed to be explored. Further, how to use Facebook appropriately to teach students with ASD to communicate with others and to build their friendship in order to expand their social network will be the key point of this project. 4 Significance of the Study Social networking internet and websites have become a household name due to its growth in popularity. To date, there is very little research to examine the effectiveness of social networking sites to improve communication skills of students with ASD. It seems imperative to use existing technology in our daily lives as a tool to teach these students communication skills, in order to make friends and build social networks. This study attempts to support students with ASD to use social networking sites, such as Facebook, to improve their ability to interact with others. It will in turn determine the importance of educating a group of students, with ASD in a secondary school, how to properly build their own Facebook profiles to maintain the appropriate level of content and privacy. It will be significant to note how the students communicate with their peers using technology to expand face-to-face interactions. Purpose of Study The purposes of this study are to: 1) evaluate the effectiveness of social networking sites as a means to improve communication skills of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder; 2) compare Facebook profiles before and after training on appropriately building a profile with content and privacy settings; 3) compare and evaluate social interactions with peers on Facebook before and after training on appropriate communication within a social networking website. 5 Research Questions 1. Will students with ASD improve their communication/social skills after being provided with training to build a Facebook profile and communicate with peers? 2. How significant of a role does Facebook play in encouraging students with ASD to initiate and reciprocate appropriate communication with peers? 3. Are students providing appropriate information regarding their personal lives on Facebook? If so, how is that affecting their social standings with others? 4. Is using Facebook improving communication skills and/or friendship between peers within the classroom? 6