Video Self-Modeling to Modify Aggressive Behaviors in Students Significantly Impacted By Autism Spectrum Disorder

Poster Presentation
Thursday, May 10, 2018: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
K. M. Sadler, Curry School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Research has demonstrated that Video Self-Modeling (VSM) is an effective intervention for children with ASD, often producing substantial changes in the student’s behavior (Bellini, 2016; Dowrick, 2012). VSM has tremendous potential to address disruptive behavior and aggression for students significantly impacted by ASD. For example, processing visual information is preferable to those with limited symbolic communication (Corbett & Abdullah, 2005; Foss-Feig, et al., 2016; Snell, et al., 2008). In addition, the modeled applications of skills presented in the videos is preferable to individuals with extreme dislike of social interactions (Buggey, 2005; Corbett & Abdullah, 2005). Furthermore, restricted interests or hyper-focused attention, could be utilized by individualizing the VSM to allow for higher likelihood of engagement (Dowrick, 2012; Gelbar, et al., 2012). Essential to the present study is the fact that within the published research, the use of VSM to reduce aggressive behavior was only demonstrated in one study, with an individual mildly impacted by ASD (Buggey, 2005). Despite it's potential, this is the only documented study that used VSM to decrease aggressive behaviors of students with ASD and there is no record of using VSM to decrease aggressive behaviors in students severely impacted by ASD.


The following research questions were addressed; (1) Can an antecedent based VSM technique be used to decrease high rates of aggressive behaviors for individuals severely impacted by ASD? (2) What effect will adding a direct instruction component to the antecedent based VSM technique have on the frequency of aggressive behavior? It is hypothesized that pre-planned, direct instruction in addition to regular viewings of the VSM, would aid in the acquisition of pro-social skills, and decrease incidents of aggressive behavior in a population of students with exacerbated ASD symptoms.


A three series multiple baseline design was used with an intervention introduction at a different point in each series (Horner, et al., 2005). In this model each participant serves as his own control (baseline data on the dependent variable was collected for each participant until a trend emerged). A preference assessment, using a semi-structured interview, was conducted with the student's caregiver, classroom teacher, and behavior analyst. Preferences identified in the interview were tested by the primary researcher by applying reinforcement for various behaviors, not targeted in this study, and observing the consequential behaviors.


All participants demonstrated decreases in overall disruptive behavior according to the data collected (frequency counts, teacher interviews, field notes) during the intervention phase. Pro-social skills, demonstrated increases at differing rates per participants. Two students generalized skills to various settings and contexts.


From the data, it appears that a VSM technique can be used to decrease the aggressive behaviors of individuals severely impacted by ASD. Further exploration needs to occur before a causal relationship between the dependent and independent variables can be determined. However, this experiment provides convincing evidence that combining a school-based functional assessment with a VSM intervention has the potential to treat persistent aggression often seen in students with ASD.

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