Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism

Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism

Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism

Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis: A Guide for Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism

Synopsis

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a successful educational method for developing social and communication skills in children with autism. The use of video modeling in ABA programs has demonstrated great effectiveness in teaching behavioral skills to autistic children, and this book explains how and why. Video modeling is an easy-to-use behavior modification technique that uses videotaped rather than ?live? scenarios for the child to observe, concentrating the focus of attention for the child with autism and creating a highly effective stimulus for learning. Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis provides a practical introduction to the technique, its objectives, strategies for use and evidence of its success. Illustrative case examples are supported by detailed diagrams and photographs, with clear, accessible explanations.

Excerpt

The monthly Appointments Memorandum published by the British Psychological Society nowadays regularly carries advertisements seeking psychology graduates to work on educational programmes typically described as 'Lovaas' or 'ABA'. They arouse in me mixed reactions. On the one hand, it saddens me to think that they have been placed by families struggling to deal with the problems associated with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. On the other hand, I feel pleased that they are making use of methods which provide the best hope of helping the autistic child achieve as normal a life as possible. 'Lovaas' refers to the American psychologist whose pioneering work employing the methods of 'ABA', Applied Behaviour Analysis, has done so much to improve the prospects for those diagnosed as autistic. Bernard Rimland, who is both a psychologist and the father of an autistic child, has described Lovaas's methods as the 'treatment of choice' for autism (see his Foreword to Maurice, 1993).

A long and complex history lies behind Video Modelling and Behaviour Analysis, a history which is worthy of a book in its own right. Here I shall try to sketch some of it in broad outline. It is a history which has great personal significance for me, as it covers the half century during which I have been associated with psychology. As an undergraduate student of psychology in the 1950s I was struck by the diversity of different approaches which psychologists adopted. Some psychologists at the time tried to reconcile superficially divergent conceptual frameworks, such as psychoanal– ysis and behaviourism. Others seemed to accept that they were irreconcilable. One writer at the time seemed to me to provide the best hope of building a satisfactory sci– entific psychology. This was B.F. Skinner. He had made his reputation as a labora– tory-based experimental psychologist in the 1930s. As was the fashion for some American psychologists at the time, he sought to establish basic psychological princi– ples through research with animals. However, in the 1940s and 1950s he began to consider the application of those principles to human beings. In books such as Science and Human Behavior (1953), he envisaged the development of a deeper understanding . . .

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