Date Presented 04/01/2022

Adults with autism are under-employed, often because of deficits in social skills and related executive functioning skills. Video modeling (VM) is an effective, efficient intervention for adults with autism. This poster describes a single-case design, ABA study in which three subjects engaged in a VM intervention targeting interpersonal and social skills participation embedded in job performance. Results suggested improved participation in social skills embedded in job performance tasks.

Primary Author and Speaker: Laura J. Carpenter

Additional Authors and Speakers: Haley Irene Griffin, Sarah McKellar

The purpose of this study was to identify a powerful intervention for young adults with developmental disabilities such as autism. Video modeling is one of several types of video-based interventions often described and supported in the special education literature, with a variety of pediatric populations such as children or adolescents with autism, intellectual disability or ADHD. Participants watch a short video (usually 1-2 minutes) of a task being done successfully. The task completed during the video is something that is difficult for the observer to complete. Given the efficacy of the intervention with pediatric populations, the research team theorized that video modeling would also be effective for young adults with autism. Overall, adults with developmental disabilities are underemployed, often due to deficits in social skills and related executive functioning skills. Addressing these deficits can be challenging due to the ever-changing presentation of social interactions, as well as the population’s concrete thinking and needs for frequent repetition when learning. By providing a video that could be watched repeatedly and discussed as needed, we hypothesized that subjects would be able to effectively learn needed social skills that are often vague and difficult to define, such as the ability to read and use body language or manage frustration during a difference of opinion. The research question asked was Does video modeling help an adult with autism demonstrate improved social skills during vocational tasks? Single case A-B-A quasi-experimental design was used for the study. The independent variable was the presence or absence of the video modeling intervention, while the dependent variable was the demonstration of social skills during job performance, as measured by the Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Evaluation Scale (COTE) 2 times per week for 8 weeks. The video models were created by the research team using data collected during the baseline phase. Pre-test and post-test measures included goal attainment scaling for one subject and a modified version of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) for two subjects. A purposive, convenience sampling method was used to recruit 3 subjects from a local community-based non-profit organization that assists individuals with disabilities with gaining job skills. The 3 subjects were all Caucasian males with a diagnosis of autism; two of the three subjects were also diagnosed with ADHD and their ages were 19, 20, and 21 years. Data from the COTE (3 subtests plus total scores) was graphed and visually analyzed across the 3 phases to compare each subject’s scores within and across phases for stability, slope, trend and percent of non-overlapping data (PND). Median COTE subtotal and total scores for all 3 subjects improved. Subject 1’s total COTE median score improved from 28 (baseline) to 19 (intervention), to 18 (withdrawal). Subject 2’s total COTE median score improved from 13.5 (baseline) to 8.5 (intervention) to 3 (withdrawal). Subject 3’s total COTE median score improved from 13 (baseline) to 8 (intervention) to 3 (withdrawal). Pre- and post-test measures of subjects’ perceptions of improvements also revealed improvements. Results of this study provide evidence for the efficacy of video modeling with young adults diagnosed with autism who are seeking paid employment. Occupational therapy practitioners can emulate the processes used to create the video model and share it with their clients as a way of effectively increasing independence in social skills related to job performance. Attending this poster will allow practitioners to understand the effectiveness of the intervention as well as how to create a video model for their own use.


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