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It is estimated that 2% of people in the United States have autism. The DSM 5th edition defines the autism spectrum diagnosis criteria as when an individual has social communication difficulties, as well as restrictive and repetitive behaviours. One intervention approach frequently used by speech and language therapists (SLTs) and behaviour analysts in clinical practice with people with ASD is video modelling (VM). This approach involves presenting a video of an individual doing a target behaviour and asking the viewer to do this behaviour in the same way. VM is reportedly used to teach social and daily living skills, address problem behaviours and communication needs, yet there is little clarity on how the intervention is used, particularly the frequency and types of skills being addressed. This study sought the views of SLTs and behaviour analysts on the frequency of use of VM, the settings, clients and skill areas where it is used, and finally any barriers that prevent it from being used. Data was collected using an electronic 28-item survey circulated to all members of the relevant US state professional associations, disseminated via universities and advertised on social media. The survey remained open for 10 weeks during which time 114 respondents completed it. Of these, 60.5% were SLTs and the remainder behaviour analysts, 94% had heard of or read about video modelling, and 74% had used it themselves. Respondents reported most commonly using VM to develop social skills (61%) and communication/language 33%. Respondents reported using it with people with autism spectrum disorder (39%), speech or language impairment (27%) and emotional or behavioural disorders (3%). The most common reasons not to use VM included a lack of training and time to make the videos. VM was most commonly used in clinical settings (39%) then people’s homes or classrooms (29%). Researchers identified the most concerning limitation as the lack of time that clinicians had available to make the resources they required. This is a small study, with limited scope, identifying only a small number of practitioners in the US. Though these results may not be applicable to a British or European population, given the varying roles of professionals and limited time available to prepare materials for clinical practice, for professional or service development and for supervision, it is a source of concern for all health and social care professionals in the current climate. Without time to develop, understand and reflect on the care provided it is difficult to ensure a person-centred, evidence-based service for any clients we work with. 

Speech-Language Pathologists and Behavior Analysts: A Survey of Video Modeling Use and Perspectives.
Cardon T, Wynkoop K, Hawkins PM, Pray C.
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Anna Volkmer

UCL, London, UK.

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