Ongoing Research


Mindy NewhouseThesis

Title:

Effects of Generalized Imitation Training on Functional Speech Acquisition During Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) Training

Abstract:

The current literature regarding the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) demonstrates that some children diagnosed with autism acquire speech or gain increases in speech during PECS training; however, the current research base has several limitations.  There is a lack of research regarding possible explanations for those speech gains, including possible pre-requisite skills for speech acquisition or procedures that can account for speech acquisition.  Some research suggests a link between imitation (both motor and vocal) and language acquisition.  The current study will examine whether children with a generalized motor imitative repertoire are more likely to develop speech during PECS training than children without a generalized imitative repertoire.


Kayla jenssen- Masters thesis

Title:

The Effects of First-Person Point-of-View Video Modeling on the Acquisition of Job Related Social Skills for Young Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Abstract:

Despite a growing emphasis on autism-related services, many young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) continue to struggle with social skills deficits. As a result, these individuals are severely underemployed and unprepared to function in vocational settings. One instructional method that has been used to teach social skills is video modeling, though research has focused primarily on applications with young children. First-person point-of-view (FPPOV) video models are videos that show a skill or task being performed from the same perspective as the learner would see it occur when completing it. Past research on FPPOV video modeling is limited, and most of the research has demonstrated changes in behavior only when FPPOV video models are implemented with additional instruction or intervention.  Thus, more research is needed to determine whether FPPOV video models alone can teach job-related social skills to young adults with developmental disabilities. The current study seeks to extend the video modeling literature by determining whether FPPOV video modeling is effective as a stand-alone instructional tool for job-related social skills and the generalization of these skills to employment settings for individuals 16 and older with developmental disabilities and autism.