Joint attention initiations in children with autism : using a video modeling intervention to teach showing
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Children with autism exhibit deficits in joint attention initiations, which are crucial to development of language and social skills (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984; Rollins, Wambacq, Mathews, & Reese, 1998; Whalen, Schreibman, & Ingersoll, 2006). Showing an object to a communication partner is an example of a joint attention initiation. A systematic synthesis of interventions targeting joint attention initiations was conducted to guide the development of an intervention for teaching showing behavior. In this study, a video modeling intervention was implemented with four young children with autism. Sessions were conducted during play sessions with the researcher in each participant’s typical therapy context. Following a prescribed baseline, the video modeling intervention was implemented. The video provided a model of an individual showing a toy to a communication partner with narration explaining the four components of the showing behavior: gaining the partner’s attention, making eye contact, extending the toy toward the partner, and commenting on the toy. Following the first four intervention sessions, verbal feedback and practice was added with the video model. The effects of this intervention on accuracy (percentage of components completed) and frequency of showing behavior and generalization to a small group setting with peers were evaluated using a multiple baseline across design across participants. Results indicate that accuracy and frequency of showing behavior increased when the video modeling intervention was implemented. The acquisition, performance, and generalization of showing behavior in relation to the video modeling intervention are discussed. Implications for teaching joint attention initiations and directions for future research are presented.