An investigation into the effects of video self-modelling on the fear responses of children with autism.
Thesis DisciplineHealth Sciences
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
The aim of this project is to establish whether video self-modelling is an effective approach in decreasing fear responses in children with ASD aged between five and 15 years. Participants were recruited through a flyer that was posted in the Autism New Zealand Canterbury newsletter and the Autism in New Zealand Facebook page. Three participants were recruited who were aged 11 to 12 years, who had a diagnosis of ASD and a fear. This study used a single-case, AB design replicated across the three participants. The participants met with the researcher to discuss their fear and what the study entailed. Baseline measures were obtained and videos were created to depict the child being in the same environment as their feared stimulus. Participants watched their videos for a two-week period then the baseline measures were repeated twice. Two out of the three participants showed some increase in steps achieved in their fear hierarchies. A similar pattern was found with the self-reported levels of fear, one participant showed a decrease in post intervention measure, the second showed variability and the third was not able to complete the intervention due to his extreme fear response. The results of this study reflect some of the literature, which suggest that while VSM can result in rapid learning, in some cases it may not work for all participants and individual differences can account for some of this variability. Due to the variation in the results and individual differences, it is difficult to determine the effects of this type of intervention for fears and phobias in children with ASD. Limitations on this study included the number of participants, as a larger number would have provided more data on the effects of VSM for different participants and the amount of time that was allocated to complete the study.