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Teaching generalization of purchasing skills across community settings to autistic youth using videotape modeling.



"Three young autistic adults were trained to purchase items. Training was conducted in one setting with concurrent generalization probes taken in three community stores. Training in one setting failed to produce generalization to the three probe settings. Generalization training, which consisted of viewing videotapes of models who purchased items in the probe settings and answering questions about the models' responses, was then introduced. Training with the videotapes resulted in generalization to the three community stores. Results of the use of videotapes as a cost-effective means to program generalization in community training programs are discussed." (emphasis added by GemIIni)


Based on studies from the 1970’s showing that videotaped instruction worked well with children with autism and Down Syndrome, Dr. Haring and his colleagues showed that video-based training in life skills was more effective than live, in person training as skills were generalized across sites.

The researchers pointed out the urgent need for cost effective treatments and suggested that video modeling would appear to be a promising addition to any therapist’s repertoire of interventions.


Techniques that promote maximum generalization of training in a cost-effective manner are urgently needed (emphasis added). Despite cautions necessary in interpreting the results of this experiment, videotape modeling procedures appear to be a promising addition to our repertoire of behavioral techniques for promoting generalization and warrant further systematic study.

A variety of studies have found that mentally retarded students can effectively imitate motion picture and videotape models (Baran, 1973). Perhaps surprisingly, one study found videotape modeling to be more effective than live models (Stephens & Ludy, 1975).

The videotape modeling procedure resulted in increased independent functioning and social responding (emphasis added) for all three students.