Using video modeling to teach symbolic play to children with autism
Children with autism often fail to develop the rich repertoires of pretend play seen in typically developing children. Video modeling is a teaching methodology that has been shown to produce rapid acquisition of a variety of skills in children with autism. The purpose of the present study was to teach symbolic play skills to children with autism. Scenes according to the Scripted Symbolic Observation Instrument (SSOI) categories were videotaped using peer of same age and sex as a model. The skills were taught and assessed using the normal play development depicted in SSOI. Results indicated that the video modeling intervention led to rapid acquisition of both verbal and motor responses. In addition generalization to similar looking toys and novel toys took place. Furthermore, current study shows that symbolic play can be taught to this population and that it is joyous for them and may open new developmental paths for children with autism. Keywords: video modeling, symbolic play, SSOI, generalization, Theory of Mind.