Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Teaching Pretend Play Skills to a Student with Autism Using Video Modeling with a Sibling as Model and Play Partner

Academic journal article Education & Treatment of Children

Teaching Pretend Play Skills to a Student with Autism Using Video Modeling with a Sibling as Model and Play Partner

Article excerpt

Abstract

We taught a four-year-old boy diagnosed with autism and his older brother to engage in four pretend play scenarios using video modeling. The older brother acted in the video models with a typically developing peer. Both the participant and his sibling successfully engaged in the four scenarios during intervention as well as maintenance and generalization probes conducted in their home. This case study illustrated that siblings of children with autism can perform in video models as well as engage in pretend play with their sibling with autism. In addition, the child with autism may benefit from sibling-oriented interventions as indicated by the intervention data and the parent and sibling survey questions presented in the current study.

Key Words: video modeling, pretend play, autism, sibling

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A growing body of literature supports the beneficial effects of video modeling procedures to teach students with autism a variety of skills including perspective taking (Charlop-Christy & Daneshvar, 2003, LeBlanc et al., 2003), language (Charlop & Milstein, 1989, Charlop-Christy, Le & Freeman, 2000, Lowy Apple, Billingsley & Schwartz, 2005, Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2003, Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2004, Wert & Neisworth, 2003), daily living skills (Charlop-Christy, Le & Freeman, 2000, Haring, Kennedy, Adams, & Pitts-Conway, 1987, Shipley-Benamou, Lutzker & Taubman, 2002), play (D'Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor, 2003, Taylor, Levin & Jasper, 1999), and academic skills (Kinney, Vedora & Stromer, 2003). In video modeling interventions, footage is created that depicts one or more individuals engaging effectively in a sequence of behaviors. The learner views the videotape/DVD and is given the opportunity to imitate the observed responses. Video modeling research illustrates that participants rapidly acquire the target skills with skill maintenance over long periods of time (e.g. Charlop & Milstein, 1989, Charlop-Christy & Daneshvar, 2003, Haring, Kennedy, Adams, & Pitts-Conway, 1987). Two common characteristics of children with autism, excellent memory and echolalia, may enhance positive response to video modeling because exact duplication of the model is desired (Charlop & Milstein, 1989).

Technological advances have made video modeling a readily accessible intervention that is easy to use and has minimal costs (Charlop & Milstein, 1989; Charlop-Christy, Le & Freeman, 2000; Goldsmith & LeBlanc, 2004). Charlop-Christy et al. (2000) directly compared video modeling with in vivo modeling to teach 5 children with autism (ages 7-11) tasks such as labeling emotions, greetings, independent and cooperative play, conversational speech, and daily living skills. Children had faster acquisition and better generalization in the video modeling condition than in the in vivo condition and the authors suggested that the video modeling condition was more time and cost efficient for 4 out of the 5 participants.

In addition to cost and time effectiveness, there may be several potential advantages to using video models to teach individuals with autism. One potential advantage is the systematic repetition that can be provided by showing the same video model numerous times (Charlop & Milstein, 1989, Taylor, Levin & Jasper, 1999) as opposed to small variations that may arise with live models. Video models can conveniently employ strategies that help promote generalization such as programming multiple exemplars, incorporating common stimuli, and natural contingencies and environments (e.g. Charlop & Milstein, 1989, Charlop-Christy & Daneshvar, 2003, Haring, Kennedy, Adams, & Pitts-Conway, 1987) by arranging these aspects in the creation of the video. Finally, videotaping allows use of a variety of models that might not be available for multiple trials with live modeling including typical peers (Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2003), siblings (Taylor, Levin & Jasper, 1999), and self as model (Wert & Neisworth, 2003). …

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