Effects of Video Modeling on Customer Service Skills of Young Adults with Autism in Community Employment Settings
Bross, Leslie Ann
University of Kansas
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Young adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often experience barriers to competitive integrated employment. The complex problem of unemployment and lack of positive postsecondary employment experiences of individuals with ASD is described. The use of video modeling (VM) is presented as one means to enhance employment experiences for this population. Video modeling literature specific to improving employment skills of young adults with ASD is reviewed. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the methodological rigor of included studies using the Council for Exceptional Children’s (2014) Standards for Evidence-Based Practices in Special Education. Effects of VM interventions were evaluated using Tau-U. Results of the meta-analysis revealed strong effects for VM, but most studies occurred in contrived or school-based employment settings rather than competitive settings. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of VM to enhance customer service skills of young adults with ASD employed in community employment settings. Five young adults with ASD, ages 18-26, who were competitively employed or participating in work-based learning experiences participated. A multiple baseline across behaviors single case design methodology was used. Verbalization of greeting, service, and closing phrases contextualized to the different employment settings served as the target behaviors. A measure, the Observer Impression Scale, was developed to evaluate qualities of voice, timing, body language, and appropriate statements when spoken phrases were used. Co-workers, job coaches, and supervisors applied the VM intervention during the generalization condition. Maintenance probes were conducted at two- and four-weeks following intervention cessation. Social validity of the VM intervention was assessed via questionnaires. Results indicated a functional relation between VM and verbalization of job-specific customer service phrases for all participants. Quality of delivery of the phrases also improved as measured by the Observer Impression Scale. Satisfaction with the VM intervention was overall high for young adults and their co-workers, job coaches, and supervisors. Maintenance varied across and within participants. Employment specialists, supervisors, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and other relevant stakeholders can consider VM a viable intervention to support social communication skills of individuals with ASD in community employment settings.
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