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Videotape Modeling for Saudi Autistic Children Proposal


In the last ten years, Asia has recorded an increase in the number of children affected by autism (Patel and Greydanus, 2012). Children with autism spectrum disorder face a challenge in coping with social and communication skills in their communities. This condition results in inappropriate behaviors in education and social situations (Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2006). With the limited availability of programs and evidence-based services designed to help children with this situation, adaptability and development of social and academic skills is a myth.

This condition has led to a strain for parents and service providers attempting to formulate and deliver education and therapeutic services to children with the condition. However, researchers have found videotape modeling to be very efficient in improving the social and academic skills of children with autism.

Research Problem

Socialization is a critical aspect of human life because it influences the development of attachment, social skills, and social competence. It also forms the back born of all relationships between people and changes for a major part of daily activities. However, children diagnosed with autism have a characteristic deficit in social behaviors, a situation that leads to a lack of social exchange. Up to date, autism has no cure; neither could there be (Nikopoulos & Keenan, 2006). And the challenge remains to find the most efficient media through which children with this condition will learn both education and social skills to enable them to interact with others in the community.

Purpose of the Study

Researchers have explored different therapy procedures to address the needs of children with autism conditions with the primary objective of changing their developmental path to more closely resemble their normally developing peers. However, the challenge remains to explore how effective the method is. In this project, we shall explain the effectiveness of videotape modeling on developing the social and academic skills of children with autism. The research will also aim at addressing the challenges faced by parents and service providers in improving the education and social skills of these children.

Objectives Of The Study

  • The primary aim of this research is to help parents and professionals adapt to the most efficient service that improves the social deficit of children with autism.
  • In this study, I also want to understand how effective videotape modeling of education and social skills of children with autism is.

Research Questions

  1. What procedures do you apply to improve the education and behavioral skills of children with autism?
  2. How is videotape modeling effective in improving the social and academic skills of children diagnosed with autism?

Literature review

To date, assessment of new procedures and methods used in addressing the challenge of autism remains limited. Research is also among small groups of populations that range from moderate to high functioning, coupled with differences in results and limited generalization or variations (Silton, 2014).

Autism is a critical disability that imposes a lifelong adverse impact on an individual, and yet it is one of the most unexplored widespread developmental disorders (Burkhardt et al. 2008). Autism occurs across all races, ethnicity, and socioeconomic groups, with occurrence being four times more in boys than in girls. It is a disorder that originates at birth or early stages of childhood that negatively affects social interactions, voluntary communication of ideas between individuals, imaginations, and relationships.

Research also shows that the condition coexists with mental retardation in close to 75 percent of individuals with autism (National Research Council (U.S), 2001). These associated abnormalities pose a significant challenge to families and communities over the characteristics caused by autism. Guardians who are raising children with this condition report adverse challenges in addressing mixed behaviors, especially in educating their children basic skills to survive and prepare for adulthood.

Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism (2001) stated that “Educating both children and parents with autism is the fundamental form of treatment for autism available today” (12). Video-based teaching is commonly used to improve communication, social, and education skill, adversities frequently witnessed in children with autism (Luiselli, 2008). Observational learning crucial learning tools on which children’s’ socialization depends.

MacKenzie (2008) explains that visual procedures of learning are efficient in improving the learning and social skills of children with autism because visual perception abilities are areas of strength for such children. The most common video-based procedures used for improving autistic children include video feedback, video modeling, and self-modeling. Strategies and procedures for developing the communication deficit facing children with autism are still a strain on teachers and professionals (Quill, 1995).

Video modeling is a new, improved approach to communication deficit; it is effective in various settings with different groups to improve many types of behaviors that include education, social, and community skills. Due to its efficiency and effectiveness, videotape modeling is used in various models, both adults, and peers, to teach and improve new skills in children with communication deficits (Luiselli, 2008).

Videotape modeling is seen as the birth of observational learning today. The impression of creating accessibility to desired behaviors for use at a different location and anytime is a new procedure of using pro-modeled behaviors for improving teaching (Topping et al., 1998). Recently, videotape modeling is attracting a lot of support as the most efficient procedure for modeling and developing education and social skills among children with autism.

However, the challenge remains to find out how to make this model as effective as possible. An example of promising mechanisms of videotape modeling for a child with autism is video self-modeling. Philosophers explain that using the self as a model maximizes the similarity between the model and the observer. This process involves identifying the behavior of desire and showing to target children in either a role-play situation or a natural setting.

In an experiment, Apple, Billingsley, and Schwartz (2005) taught two 5-year old children with autism a new behavior of complimenting in response to social comments such as “look at my shoe”. A peer video modeling procedure was effective in initiating the new behavior of expression of compliments such as “you are smart.” However, it is important not to conclude that video-based instruction procedure is better than other teaching procedures. Research shows that all modes are potentially efficient and that it is hard to compare and contrast different models of intervention because of less replication, different behaviors of interest, and various procedures of application.

Videotape modeling, however, remains the most efficient intervention for improving education and social skills in children with autism as compared to other models. Hitchcock et al. (2003) explained that videotape modeling instructions focus on a particular behavior of desire. It, therefore, addresses a situation of interest, making it more efficient than other models. Many children with autism have a characteristic strong visual learning ability and, in most cases, enjoy watching videos (Matson, 2009). Many students with autism conditions will like to attend a model shown in a video form than a live model procedure.

Videotape modeling is clinically first done by adults who first demonstrate the skill of desire. This aspect of using adults in demonstrating the ability ensures highlighting the silent areas of the target behavior by making the process more effective and efficient. In the videotape model, autistic children watch a video clip of a target skill or behavior, and then demanding procedures are employed to aid learners engage in the skill or behavior. Students may initiate what they watch into practice or respond to the video after some time. Another effectiveness of videotape modeling is that it is a source of feedback to students on their learning improvement through the use of leisure activities. This aspect of feedback is used to monitor specific areas of weakness and developing learning strategies.

Apart from being visual learners, Volkmar (2005) suggested that just like other children, autistic children are motivated by watching videos as entertainment. Through this, many behavior skills are introduced, making it effective and convenient for equipping them academically and socially. He further supported the effectiveness of videotape modeling through his explanation that video instructions can be played again with the same content. He describes this as a practical form that can support learning in a population that benefits from predictability (886).

Proposed Methodology

In this research, we shall conduct an in-depth reflection on already existing work about different procedures for correcting communication deficits among children with autism. We will also include physical observations and interactions with these kids after different model applications. The data collected will be processed using standard software to eliminate instances of error, analyzed, and discussed in my final report.

Research Design

It includes a regression-discontinuity design to explore the effectiveness of videotape modeling for Autistic children. The study will use mixed methods of data collection in ascertaining the effectiveness of videotape modeling in improving the education and social skills of autistic children in Saudi Arabia. This design is favorable because our research will involve physical observations and examining an actual number of outcomes from model procedures (Creswell, 2013).

Data Sources

The research will include both structured and unstructured interviews, secondary sources of already existing research and observations. Physical observations and the use of survey data are also found favorable to fulfill our hypothesis for this study (Martin et al. 2012).

Methods Of Data Collection

I plan to use an informal interview to give my participants an opportunity and answer questions in their way in relation to videotape modeling. I prefer open questions and conversations because, other than answers, observations on communication skills and behaviors will also be in check (Alderson and Scott, 1996). Specific questions will also focus on areas where I require defining how effective a particular procedure is on improving both communication and academic skills. Both overt and covert observations will be included to observe these children’s behavior after watching certain video clips on target behavior on a designed routine.

I also plan to visit libraries to explore already existing research on the effectiveness of videotape modeling on improving the academic and social skills of children with autism.

Reliability And Validity

The use of a mixed method approach will enable collecting, Analyzing and interpreting of my data simultaneously through questionnaires, interviews, and sample population observation, (LeCompte et al 1982). Through data collecting procedures that include library research and questionnaires, data collected will be reliable and consistent since it will involve direct observation of responses and researched work by other professionals.

Sampling Techniques

My samples will be from a random selection of the target population. Among the groups, different models of skill intervention will be in use for a set period with observations for response to the procedures of intervention. My primary aim is to eliminate biases in comparing the effectiveness of different models. It is also to establish a conclusion of how effective is videotape modeling in improving the skills of children with autism, (Martin et al. 2012)..

Operational Definitions

  1. Autism is a mental development disorder that with a characteristic deficit in social interaction skills and restricted behavior, (Dawson, 1989).
  2. Videotape modeling: this is a procedure that encourages the target population to transfer skills watched on the video to real life skills, (Harris & Taylor, 2012).
  3. Video self-modeling: it is a procedure of observational learning where students watch themselves performing a successful behavior on video and then transfer the target behavior to real life, (Murray & Noland, 2012).

Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations


Children diagnosed with autism if given correct procedures and modeling can adapt to the same communication skills as their normal counterparts.


Autism spectrum disorder was diagnosed by medical professional in writing; however there is no more verification apart from reports from guardians of these children. Inadequate education and communication skills could be as a result of family and poor parenting not necessarily autism. It may affect the results.

It is also hard to confirm the actual effectiveness of the model procedure since there may be variation in responses due to other reinforced model.


This study will include assessing the effectiveness of videotape modeling in improving academic and communication skills of children with autism. It may involve simple comparisons of different models of intervention in skills of children with autism.

Ethical Considerations

The researcher will involve ethical framework that guides research and the code of ethics. Practices such as informed consents, confidentiality and debriefing are essential and will be used in the study, (Kimmel, 2007).

Significance Of the Study

Every child should get quality education. It is, therefore, the responsibility of teachers and parents to establish the most effective quality model to address the demand for our children. The research is to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of special education to children with special needs. The research will, therefore, help in assessing learning models for the good of our community.


Alderson, J. C. & Scott, M. (1996): Insiders, outsiders, and participatory evaluation; In Evaluating second language education, (pp. 25-60), Cambridge: CUP.

Apple, A.L., Billingsley, F., and Schwartz, I.S. (2005): Effects of video modeling alone and with self-management on compliment-giving behavior of children with high functioning ASD; Journal of positive behavior interventions, 7(1), 75-84.

Burkhardt, S. A., Obiakor, F. E., & Rotatori, A. F. (2008): Curriculum innovation to educate students with autism in general education; In Autism and developmental disabilities: Current practices and issues 2(1), 25-26. Bingley: JAI Press.

Committee on Educational Interventions for Children with Autism, N. (2001): Challenges of Educating children with autism; In Educating Children with Autism, 1(1), 7-12).

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods Approaches, New York: Sage Publications.

Dawson, G. (1989). Perspectives on the nature of autism; In Autism: Nature, diagnosis, and treatment, 1(1), 3-4). New York: Guilford Press.

Flick, U. (2006): An introduction to qualitative research: London: Sage.

Harris, T., & Taylor, G. (2012): Standard-based life skills intervention; In Raising African American males: Strategies and interventions for successful outcomes, 2(1), 7-9. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Education.

Hitchcock, C., Dowric, P., and Prater, M. (2003): Video self-modeling intervention in school-based setting: A review. Remedial and special education, 24(1), 36-40.

Kimmel, A. J. (2007). Ethical principles in behavioral research; In Ethical issues in behavioral research: Basic and applied perspectives, 2(1), 15-25). Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.

LeCompte, M. & Goetz, J. (1982): Problems of reliability and validity in ethnographic research; Review of Educational Research, 52(1), 31-60.

Luiselli, J. K. (2008). Video-based instruction for children with Autism; In Effective practices for children with autism: Educational and behavioral support interventions that work 12(1), 241-243. New York: Oxford University Press.

MacKenzie, H. (2008). Learning preferences and strength model; In Reaching and teaching the child with autism spectrum disorder: Using learning preferences and strengths 2(1), 28-33. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Martin, B., & Hanington, B. M, (2012). Universal methods of design: 100 ways to research complex problems, develop innovative ideas, and create practical solutions. Beverly, MA: Rockport Publishers. P120-150.

Matson, J. L. (2009). Social skills and autism: Understanding and Addressing the Deficit. In Applied behavior analysis for children with autism spectrum disorders, 7(1), 131-132. New York: Springer.

Merriam, S.B. (1998). Qualitative research and case study applications in education. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Murray, S. S., & Noland, B. (2012): Video self-modeling; In Video Modeling for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Practical Guide for Parents and Professionals 2(1), 51-53. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

National Research Council (U.S.): (2001). Educating children with autism; Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Nikopoulos, C., & Keenan, M. (2006): Social Deficit in Autism; In Video modeling and behavior analysis: A guide for teaching social skills to children with autism 1(1), 21-23. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Patel, D. R., & Greydanus, D. E. (2012): Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders; In Autism Spectrum Disorders, 7(1), 100). London: Elsevier Health Sciences.

Quill, K. A. (1995): Thinking in Autism: difference in learning and development. In Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization 1(1), 11-12. New York: Delmar Publishers.

Silton, N. R. (2014): The promise and limitations of assistive technology use among children with autism; In Innovative technologies to benefit children on the autism spectrum, 1(1), 4-6).

Topping, K. J., & Ehly, S. W. (1998): Peer modeling; In Peer-assisted learning, 10(1), 186-195). Mahwah, NJ: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Volkmar, F. R. (2005): Behavior interventions to promote learning in individuals with autism; In Handbook of autism and pervasive developmental disorders, 34(1), 886-887). New York: Wiley.

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