Imitation of sign language in young children with autism: Video modeling versus in vivo modeling
The purpose of this study was to determine if video modeling of sign language is more effective than in vivo modeling in teaching sign language to children with autism. Three 2-year-old children participated in sessions of video modeling and in vivo modeling. During video modeling sessions, participants watched a video of one segment of Signing Time Volume I: My First Signs. During in vivo sessions, the researcher modeled the same script from the video. Sessions were video-recorded for later scoring. Volunteers graded the responses as "attempts made" and scored the quality of each attempt. All three children responded to both video and in vivo modeling. The number and quality of signing attempts varied across sessions and conditions presented. There did not appear to be a difference between responses to in vivo and video modeling. However, video modeling can be an alternate approach to teaching sign language to children with autism.