Social initiation with siblings of children with autism: an alternating treatment design with video modeling and video self-modeling

Because children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have difficulty with social interactions, they may not regularly engage in play activities with their siblings. Using an alternating treatment design, this study examined the efficacy of video-modeling (VM) and video self-modeling (VSM) to improve social initiations and duration of play between three children diagnosed with ASD, ages 6-7 years old, and their siblings. Dependent variables were (a) latency to initiate interaction; and (b) duration of time engaged together in play. In-home sessions of video instruction taught children to approach their sibling and say, “Let’s play.” Preference assessments identified toys used during intervention. Generalization exposed participants to novel toys without viewing a video model. Baseline results indicated two children did not initiate play at baseline nor did they engage in play with their sibling. One child initiated play in three baseline sessions but did not remain engaged throughout the entire session. After exposure to the intervention, all children more quickly initiated social play across VM, VSM, and Generalization. Upon acquiring this pivotal social skill, children diagnosed with ASD maintained social engagement with siblings across a variety of play activities. This research demonstrated that VM and VSM were equally effective in training the target skills. Keywords: autism, video modeling, play engagement, sibling