Teaching expressive labeling to children with autism via videotape modeling
Matt Stoelb, University of Missouri - Columbia, United States
University of Missouri - Columbia . Awarded
As the number of children who are diagnosed with autism continues to increase, it is important to identify affordable and effective interventions to teach them basic skills. Prior studies have suggested that video modeling can be effective at teaching children with autism a wide range of skills and responses but have not examined this intervention absent from prompts to pay attention, in vivo or live modeling, and skill rehearsal and reinforcement. This study examined the use of video modeling to teach three young children with autism to name pictures of common objects, examined video modeling as a stand-alone procedure, and included assessments of maintenance and generalization. It contrasted two different stimulus presentation styles (massed trials presentation and distributed trials presentation) with a no-treatment condition within the context of a single subject alternating treatment research design.
Thirty stimulus labels were divided into three groups of ten labels each and were randomly assigned to massed trials video modeling, distributed trials video modeling, and no-treatment conditions. Baseline data demonstrated that none of the children could expressively label any of their target items, name any of the alternative examples of these items, or receptively label targets at levels that were higher than chance. After daily probes to assess these skills, participants were exposed to videotapes of children naming target items three times in succession (massed trials) or three times intermixed with one another (distributed trials). A total of fifteen probe and intervention sessions occurred before a 2- and 4-week maintenance phase began.
Two of the three participants paid high levels of attention to intervention videos. These two children learned to name 95% of the pictures they saw within videos (as compared to 25% of control group stimuli), to receptively label 100% of video targets, and to name 80% of alternative examples of these. The third child in the study seldom attended to the videos and did not learn any of the labels within them. Attention to videos accounted for 98% of the variance in the number of labels that were acquired, and the two types of videos that were used appeared to be equally effective.
This study suggests that some children with autism can be taught desired skills through the use of homemade videos in the absence of live instruction and reinforcement. Additional research is needed to explore the instruction of social and play skills through stand-alone video modeling procedures, the identification of measures that predict responsiveness to video modeling, and the validation of sequential steps that can be taken when video modeling is not effective.
Stoelb, M. Teaching expressive labeling to children with autism via videotape modeling. Ph.D. thesis, University of Missouri - Columbia.
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