“Rethink Autism”: Effectiveness of web-based applied behavior video modeling program on the performance of paraeducators and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Jennifer Rigby Cardinal, The University of Utah, United States
The University of Utah . Awarded
The current study examined the effects of Rethink Autism's web-based video modeling program on the behavior of paraeducators as it relates to discrete trial teaching and on student performance of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in a special education school environment. In addition, a cost analysis was conducted to assess the cost of training paraeducators under the supervision of a special education teacher compared to training special education teachers under the same condition to fulfill similar teaching functions. For the main component of the study, a multiple baseline design across subjects was employed; there were 4 primary participants (paraeducators) who were each matched with a separate student with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (secondary subjects). Every paraeducator began the three-phase intervention with the viewing of their student's unique specific skill Rethink Autism lesson video. This was completed prior to implementing each teaching session. (Each phase of the study included four teaching sessions.) In response to the expectations of the special education setting where the study was being held, more intensive interventions were added in phases 2 and 3 dependent on the paraeducator's performance related to discrete trial teaching (DTT) accuracy (90% over two sessions). These "retraining" interventions included the addition of Rethink Autism's general DTT training video and corrective verbal feedback. Results indicated that the Rethink Autism intervention was effective in increasing the DTT skill level of paraeducators as well as in increasing student performance. Effect sizes were large for all primary participants (DTT skills) and percentage gain was notable for all students' performance. Participants' treatment acceptability ratings indicated that the Rethink Autism web-based intervention was acceptable. Also, results of the cost analysis showed benefits of training paraeducators over special education teachers. Implications for practice, study limitations, and possible directions for future research are discussed.
Cardinal, J.R. “Rethink Autism”: Effectiveness of web-based applied behavior video modeling program on the performance of paraeducators and students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Utah.
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