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Enhancing IEP Achievement in Students with Autism through a Video Modeling Training with Paraprofessionals. Amy R. Wagner, LCSW, BCaBA University of West Georgia. Rationale. Children with autism require precise teaching strategies Paraprofessionals are often primary educators

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Enhancing IEP Achievement in Students with Autism through a Video Modeling Training with Paraprofessionals

Amy R. Wagner, LCSW, BCaBA

University of West Georgia

  • Children with autism require precise teaching strategies
  • Paraprofessionals are often primary educators
  • Paraprofessionals are often not provided with sufficient development opportunities
  • Short term mastery criteria typically guides instruction
  • CDC reports 1 in 88 children with autism
  • Vast empirical evidence relating early intensive intervention to child achievement.
    • Lovaas (1987 ) – 47% of experimental group vs 2% of control group
    • Similar results replicated by Sallows and Guptner (2005).
      • By age 7, 48% in regular education 1st and 2nd grade classes.
  • Individuals with autism often struggle with generalizing skills (Wehman, 2009)

Cowan and Allen (2007) present evidence that combining intensive teaching procedures and naturalistic teaching procedures promotes generalization

  • Moreover, these two procedures are well documented in the behavior analytic literature
    • Skinner and Keller (1950’s)
    • Saville, Lambert and Robertson (2011) – interteaching
    • Reed and Parsons (2000)
    • LeBlanc, Ricciardi, Luiselli (2005) – abbreviated performance feedback
    • Binder (2003) and Weiss (2010) – fluency
    • Catania et al. (2009), Moore and Fisher (2007) and Collins et al. (2009) – video modeling
  • Coordination of teaching strategies, focused on IEP objectives will accelerate student learning and skill maintenance
  • Fluent teaching skills will impact student performance
  • Efficient and less costly staff development methods are more likely to be implemented

To evaluate the effects of a video modeling protocol on staff and student performance

  • Design of an effective, efficient staff development tool
  • Consistency in which staff use teaching strategies as designed
  • Impact of those teaching strategies on student performance
  • Student achievement of IEP targets
  • 3 paraprofessionals currently working in a classroom with children with autism
  • Paraprofessionals trained to use discrete trial instructional skills through video modeling
    • Instructions and approximately 10 minutes of videos during each of the video modeling phases
  • Protocol excerpted from LeBlanc, Ricciardi, Luiselli (2005)
  • Student instructional trials linked to IEP objectives
  • Feedback provided to participants on accuracy of protocol use
  • Indirect measures of student achievement collected from teacher assessment
  • Data analyzed using a ABC experimental design with replications.
  • IOA of 96% gathered from a sample of 25%
  • Baseline and intervention performance data collected for all staff participants
    • Performance measured as adherence to protocol
student performance
Student Performance
  • Improvements shown in 83% of student targets with baseline data
  • All three students showed some improvement
limitations and recommendations
Limitations and Recommendations
  • Study was conducted with veteran staff - BL data was high
  • No webcam available for feedback
  • Researcher had no control over data collection
    • Protocol did not focus on accuracy of data collection
    • Behavior analysts did not conduct competency checks on data collection
  • Variability in student data:
    • Reinforcement preference or satiation
    • Insufficient trials
    • Non-compliance
    • Data validity and reliability
limitations and recs continued
Limitations and Recs continued
  • Quality of videos
  • Staff feedback sheet not comprehensive - insufficient training given to behavior analysts
  • Classroom logistics required staff participant to be assigned to specific students. This clouded conclusions about generalization
  • Insufficient number of targets due to mastery prior to intervention
  • Due to time constraint, only one BL data point and two intervention data points – study needs to be extended. Multiple baseline for future research.
  • Data trends given the time constraints, veteran staff, and variability in student data
  • Dissertation…

Catania, C. N., & Almeida, D. (2009). Video modeling to train staff to implement discrete-trial instruction. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(2), 387-392

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Retrieved from

Collins, S., Higbee, T. S., Salzberg, C. (2009). The effects of video modeling on staff implementation of a problem-solving intervention with adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(4), 849-854.

Cowan, R. J., & Allen, K. D. (2007). Using naturalistic procedures to enhance learning in individuals with autism: A focus on generalized teaching within the school setting. Psychology in the Schools, 44(7), 1-15. doi: 10.1002/pits.20259


Leblanc, M., Ricciardi, J. N., & Luiselli, J. K. (2005). Improving discrete trial instruction by paraprofessional staff through an abbreviated performance feedback intervention. Education and Treatment of Children, 28(1), 76-82.

Lovaas, O. I. (1987). Behavioral treatment and normal educational and intellectual functioning in young autistic children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55(1), 3-9.

Moore, J. W., & Fisher, W. W. (2007). The effects of video modeling on staff acquisition of functional analysis methodology. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(1), 197-202.

Reid, D. H., & Parsons, M. B. (2000). Organizational Behavior Management in Human Service Settings. In J. Austin & J. E. Carr (Eds.), Handbook of applied behavior analysis (pp. 275-294). Reno, NV: Greenwood: Context Press.


Sallows, G. O., & Graupner, T. D. (2005). Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: Four-year outcome and predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110(6), 417-438. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

Saville, B. K., Lambert, T. , & Robertson, S. (2011). Interteaching: Bringing behavioral education to the 21st century. The Psychological Record, 61(1), 153-166. Retrieved from EBSCOhost

Wehman, P., Smith, M. D., & Schall, C. (2009). Autism & the transition to adulthood: Success beyond the classroom. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Weiss, M. J., Pearson, N., Foley, K., & Pahl, S. (2010). The importance of fluency outcomes in learners with autism. The Behavior Analyst Today, 11(4), 245-251.