Video Self-Modeling (VSM) As an Intervention for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in School and Clinical Settings

Saturday, May 13, 2017: 12:00 PM-1:40 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
A. Merrill, Indiana University, Columbus, OH
Background:  Video modeling refers to an individual viewing a video demonstrating a target behavior to learn to produce that same modeled behavior. Bandura’ social learning theory suggests that new patterns of behavior can be learned through observation. In addition, this learning is strongest when the model is as similar as possible to the true behavior that one is attempting to change (Bandura, 1977). Video self-modeling (VSM) is a form of video modeling that enables the individual to perform the modeled behavior by watching him or herself perform the behavior effectively (Bellini & Peters, 2008). Bellini and Akullian’s meta-analysis (2007) showed evidence that VSM is an effective intervention strategy for increasing positive social and communication, behavioral, and functional skills in children and adolescents with ASD. Further research suggests that VSM can generalize across multiple settings and that the learned skills throughout this process may be sustained for months after the intervention (Shukla-Mehta, Miller, & Callahan, 2010).

Objectives:  Two research studies investigating VSM were completed. The objective of these studies was to determine the effectiveness of VSM in improving academic and conversational skills across school and clinical settings in adolescents with ASD. To the author’s knowledge, these were the first studies to target these behaviors in adolescents with ASD.

Methods:  A multiple baseline single-case design was used in both studies. VSM was implemented by recording videos, editing them, and showing them to the participants on iPads. Videos used were 1 to 3 minutes in length. Data collection was completed by more than one observer to determine inter-observer agreement. In Study 1, positive homework materials management behaviors were targeted in a general education classroom setting. In Study 2, conversational and pragmatic language skills were targeted in a clinical outpatient therapy setting.

Results: In Study 1, visual analysis and nonparametric effect size results suggested that the introduction of the VSM intervention was effective in improving compliance with classroom procedures related to homework in students with ASD and other neurodevelopmental and acquired disorders. Social validity data from the students and teachers involved in the project showed that the process was viewed as positive and realistic to implement in the classroom.

In Study 2, visual analysis and nonparametric effect size results suggested that the introduction of the VSM intervention in combination with social skills training was effective in improving conversational skills in 2 out of 3 adolescents with ASD. Social validity data from the parents and adolescents involved showed a positive response to the integration of VSM into the social skills training intervention.

Conclusions:  Adolescents with ASD present educators and practitioners with several unique challenges. As social and academic environments becomes more multifaceted, the complexity of teaching individuals with ASD how best to navigate their world does as well. Ubiquitous access to iPad and other tablet technology suggests that video-based interventions are currently under-utilized. Clinicians and educators working with adolescents with a myriad of behavioral and academic challenges may consider ways in which a VSM intervention may be implemented into their practice.