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Video Self-Modeling and Male Adolescents with Autism

             Autism is a significant topic in educational research. Students with autism often struggle with on-task behavior. There can be many reasons a student could be struggling: the task is too difficult; the task is too long, there is distraction; there is a lack of interest; there is a sensory issue; there is under-developed attending skills; etc. Research has indicated that visual strategies like picture activity schedules are successful with increasing on-task behavior in children on the autism spectrum (Banda, Grimmett, & Hart, 2009). With this knowledge, there are other visual strategies to explore.
             The concept of observational learning, or modeling, and its impact on the development of children was introduced long ago by Albert Bandura (1977) in his work on social learning theory. Video modeling is an evidence-based tool that combines the observational learning concept with the visual strategies identified as effective with children on the autism spectrum. Video self-modeling (VSM) is a specific application of video modeling that allows the individual to imitate targeted behaviors by observing her or himself successfully performing a behavior (Dowrick, 1999). Video feedforward is a category of VSM intervention where individuals observe themselves demonstrating skills that are slightly above their current capability (Dowrick, 1999).
             Statement of Purpose.
             The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of video self-modeling on the on-task time of adolescent students on the autism spectrum. The intention is to show that using the feedforward method of video self-modeling will have a positive impact on students remaining on-task.
             Review of Related Literature.
             Modern technology offers a myriad of options when teaching students. Even with these opportunities available, instruction is still primarily, auditory in nature. Students with autism are often characterized as visual learners. Consideration to this must be given when identifying instructional methods that best meet the needs of these students.

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