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ESTABLISHING VERBAL REPERTOIRES IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM USING FUNCTION-BASED VIDEO MODELING

Authors


  • This article is based on a doctoral dissertation submitted by the first author, under supervision of the second author, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the PhD degree in special education. This investigation was partially funded by Grant H325D030060 from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Joshua B. Plavnick, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824 (e-mail: plavnick@msu.edu).

Abstract

Previous research suggests that language-training procedures for children with autism might be enhanced following an assessment of conditions that evoke emerging verbal behavior. The present investigation examined a methodology to teach recognizable mands based on environmental variables known to evoke participants' idiosyncratic communicative responses in the natural environment. An alternating treatments design was used during Experiment 1 to identify the variables that were functionally related to gestures emitted by 4 children with autism. Results showed that gestures functioned as requests for attention for 1 participant and as requests for assistance to obtain a preferred item or event for 3 participants. Video modeling was used during Experiment 2 to compare mand acquisition when video sequences were either related or unrelated to the results of the functional analysis. An alternating treatments within multiple probe design showed that participants repeatedly acquired mands during the function-based condition but not during the nonfunction-based condition. In addition, generalization of the response was observed during the former but not the latter condition.

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