Children with social communication disorders have been found to exhibit deficits in emotional intelligence, including the ability to identify emotions attributed to facial expressions. The purpose of this thesis was to examine the efficacy of a social communication intervention program designed to increase the accuracy of emotion based word use in three elementary school-aged participants with social communication disorders. The participants took part in a multiple-baseline, 20-session treatment including story enactment, journaling procedures, and supplementary activities. The story enactment portion of the intervention centered on Mercer Mayer's A Boy, A Dog, and A Frog (1967) wordless picture book series. Participants' emotion word productions were analyzed in six categories (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and disgust) and valence accuracy was determined for all productions. Results proved variable, but each of the three participants demonstrated improvements in accuracy in at least two emotion categories that were not mastered prior to the onset of the intervention. In addition, two of the three participants increased in valence accuracy of emotion word productions between baseline and follow-up measures. Taken as a whole, the results suggest that this particular intervention program was effective in improving competency in select emotion categories for all three participants. Discussions of individual participant outcomes are included, as well as suggestions for further research.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





social communication impairment, school-age children, emotional intelligence, social competence, social communication intervention, emotion expression, emotion based words