Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often do not engage in appropriate play without being explicitly taught to do so (Kossyvaki & Papoudi, 2016). Although there is research demonstrating that parents, teachers, and peers can effectively implement interventions to improve play skills and other social skills in children with ASD, there is comparatively less research on teaching typically developing (TD) siblings to be the primary intervention agents with their siblings with autism (SWA). Only one study has examined the effectiveness of using video modeling to teach the TD siblings of children with ASD how to appropriately prompt and reinforce their SWA in play (Neff, Betz, Saini, & Henry, 2017). In the Neff et al. study, one of the three TD siblings lacked the motivation to play with his SWA. Not every TD sibling will be motivated enough to want to play with his/her SWA using video modeling alone. One strategy that could be used to increase motivation is providing choices.
As such, this proposed study aims to both extend the existing literature on video modeling as an intervention to teach TD siblings to play cooperatively with their SWA as well as extend the literature on using choice to increase intervention acceptability for both participants through the use of an activity schedule. Additionally, this study aims to evaluate treatment acceptability and social validity, areas that were not examined by Neff et al., (2017). Further, this study aims to continue to evaluate the effectiveness of appropriate prompting and reinforcement from a TD sibling on the independent responses during cooperative play exhibited by the child with ASD when playing with his or her TD sibling.
For my dissertation, I am looking for sibling pairs with one child with ASD and one typically developing child both between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. This is a free intervention approved by St. John’s University’s IRB committee that would require families to allow me into their homes.