Date of Award

2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Community Services, Education and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Dr Lu Arco

Abstract

Impaired social functioning is a characteristic feature of autistic spectrum disorder. Various interventions have been developed to address social dysfunction in children with autism. The purpose of this paper is to review studies that have examined the efficacy of using modelling procedures to teach children with autism social skills. Modelling involves observing a model performing a target behaviour intended for the observer to imitate. Modelling techniques have effectively incorporated a range of models including adults, peers, and target children by observing videotapes of themselves. Peer-mediated strategies have been shown to substantially increase social behaviour in children with autism, however generalisation is limited. The use of videotaped models has been successful in both skill acquisition and generalisation. Applications of video technology and suggestions for future modelling research are discussed. The present study examined the effects of video-modelling on the acquisition and generalisation of play sequences across various toys in 4 boys with autism. Four separate experiments using a single-case experimental design, with multiple baselines across 3 toys within each participant were used. Two boys were given access to 3 unrelated toys, and two boys were given 3 related toys. Video-modelling procedures with each of the 3 unrelated toys resulted in increased levels of verbal and motor play behaviour across both boys. Increases in verbal and motor play with the first related toy generalised across to the other 2 related toys for both boys. Levels of repetitive play also decreased during video intervention for both related and unrelated toys. Treatment effects were maintained during 1-week follow-up. Results suggest video-modelling was an effective method of increasing and generalising verbal and motor play behaviour, and, decreasing repetitive play across all 4 boys.

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