Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Angel Gullon-Rivera

Second Advisor

Karin Rourke


This thesis focuses on the rationale behind, and creation of, a Social Story book for children who have hospitalized siblings in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The intent of this thesis was to justify the creation of the Story while also constructing and producing a viable support tool that can be utilized by hospital staff or parents to support siblings of NICU infants. The Story was written by taking into account the theories of Certified Child Life Specialists (CCLSs) and the support that they often provide to hospitalized children and their families. Studies and research on Family Centered Care (FCC), sibling support, and the use of stories as a teaching tool were also taken into account. Overall, Carol Gray’s Social StoryTM approach and 10 Social StoryTM criteria (originally developed as a way to assist children with autism spectrum disorder) were utilized as guidelines in the creation of the Story. The Story, “My Baby is in the NICU: A Sibling’s Story,” followed Gray’s criteria in describing and explaining what the NICU is, the equipment used and people within the NICU, as well as the experiences that some families may have within the NICU. Furthermore, the created Story provides a platform that allows children to have an opportunity to begin a conversation about the NICU and their new sibling. In conclusion, the creation of this Social Story can be utilized as a beneficial tool by CCLSs, other healthcare professionals, or families to support children and educate them about their new sibling and about the NICU.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Certificate.pdf (262 kB)