A Bilingual Child Learns Social Communication Skills through Video Modeling-A Single Case Study in a Norwegian School Setting

By Özerk, Meral; Özerk, Kamil | International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, September 2015 | Go to article overview

A Bilingual Child Learns Social Communication Skills through Video Modeling-A Single Case Study in a Norwegian School Setting


Özerk, Meral, Özerk, Kamil, International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education


Introduction

Video Modeling is one of the recognized methods used in the training and education of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The model's theoretical base stems from Albert Bandura's (1965, 1977) social learning theory in which he asserts that children can learn many skills and behaviors observationally through modeling. By observing others, children with ASD can construct an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this mentally and visually constructed information serves as a guide for their own behavior.

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders as Visual Learners

Visual learning strategies are defined as two- or three-dimensional representations of a particular concept used to communicate and teach that idea. These strategies can take the form of pictures, icons (black and white cartoon like images), photographs, or gestures to enhance the understanding of spoken word(s) in communicating an idea. In this way, visual systems are used to strengthen the child's understanding and use of communication in his/her environment by taking advantage of the visual learning strengths of children with autism. Indeed, there is some evidence that individuals with ASD are able to process two- or three-dimensional visual supports more easily than transient input, such as auditory stimuli (Quill, 1997). Visual supports are therefore often used to aid children with ASD to maintain attention, understand spoken language, and sequence and organize their environments (Hodgdon, 1995). Hodgdon described visual supports as tools used to compensate for difficulties not only in attention, but also in auditory processing, sequencing, and organization. She contended that children with ASD display fewer behavioral problems and increased compliance when visual supports are used to communicate expectations as opposed to when these supports are not used in structured environments (i.e., school classrooms). One particularly effective visual learning strategy that has been used to teach children with autism conversational skills is Video Modeling.

Ozonoff et al. (1991), examined the skills of 23 individuals with autism (ages 8-20) and with IQs above 69. These individuals were matched to controls on IQ, age, gender, and SES. These researchers presented the participants with a wide variety of tasks, including a verbal memory test (Buschke Selective Reminding Test) and the Children's Embedded Figures Test (visual task). Ozonoff et al., found that those individuals with autism presented lower scores on a verbal memory test, but that there were no between-group differences on the visual task. This indicates that although individuals with autism showed deficits in verbal skills, they showed no deficits in visual skills. On the basis of these and other studies, it is established that children with ASD can be considered visual learners (Charlop-Christy, et al. 2000; Schreibman et al, 2000). There are two types of methods for visual learning: 1) In Vivo Modeling and 2) Video Modeling. These methods targeting desirable behaviors and skills through observation.

In Vivo Modeling

In Vivo Modeling seeks to promote visual learning through the observation of live models, including children or adults. These models may be the child's parents, siblings, teachers, or classmates. These examples allow for the subjects to model a specific kind of target behavior in a familiar context where such target behavior might naturally occur. In Vivo Modeling is regarded as an effective training strategy for children 2?15 years old with autism (Jahr et.al., 2000). Yet this procedure can have some limitations. In Vivo Modeling is time consuming, requiring intensive training of models. Another critical aspect of this method is that models sometimes that lack the necessary precision and consistency in their behavior. Furthermore, In Vivo Modeling necessitates the imitation of complex tasks in live models that the child must focus on, responding to several of its characteristics. …

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