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

By Christos Nikopoulos; Mickey Keenan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER5
iscussion and Further Directions

It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It
biases the judgement.

Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet (1888)


5.1 Integration of findings

One of the primary developmental tasks during early childhood years is the acquisition of positive interaction skills. Thus, children need to be able to form positive relations and friendships with their peers as well as to develop their language and vocabulary repertoires (Kohler et al. 1990). Unfortunately, specific instructions are necessary for children with autism to develop specific social skills, because they do not usually tend to acquire skills through inci– dental learning (Laushey and Heflin 2000). In light of this, the dependent and independent variables in these five studies were selected for relevance to func– tioning in natural environments instead of artificially controlled situations (Kraijer 2000). Collectively, the results provide evidence that video modell– ing as a visual instructional technique is effective in promoting social initia– tion, reciprocal play and a sequence of different behaviours in children with autism. In all of the studies, aspects of environmental contingencies (e.g. video display components, location or number of stimuli and variability in the research settings) were analysed to determine the effective components of video modelling, independently of the behavioural characteristics of these children and in the absence of any researcher-implemented consequences or prompts. Importantly, behaviour gains in all children generalised across

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