Capstone Project Title
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Julia Wilbarger, PhD, OTR/L
Laura Greiss Hess, PhD, OTR/L
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) impacts a variety of occupations (Hong et al., 2016). Occupational therapy (OT) intervention is essential for promoting occupational engagement for individuals with ASD. One way in which occupational therapists can promote engagement is through assistive technology (AT). Video modeling (VM) is an evidence-based practice (EBP) for individuals with ASD that falls under the umbrella of AT (Franzone & Collet-Klingenberg, 2008). VM capitalizes on the visual learning strengths of individuals with ASD and minimizes the use of auditory processing, which is an area of relative weakness (Campbell et al., 2015). Motor planning tends to be an area of relative deficit for individuals with ASD that can also be minimized with the use of VM. VM supports occupational engagement, yet, it is under-utilized due to insufficient awareness and time required to design customized VM (Franzone & Collet-Klingenberg, 2008; Hong et al., 2016). Commercially available videos are not customized to the learning needs of individuals with ASD, nor are they an adequate substitute for teaching motor planning and increasing occupational performance for many activities. Therefore, the purpose of our community development project was to create a customized VM library for our community partner informed by the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process, 3rd edition (OTPF-3; American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014) and the community partner’s needs (Autistry Studios, www.autistrystudios.com).
The Needs Assessment Survey based on the OTPF-3 (2014) and initial interviews with Autistry Studios had a response rate of 67%. We designed a Post-VM Feedback Survey also based on OTPF-3 (2014) and current ASD literature to gather information regarding the effectiveness of the customized VM in specific areas: clarity of instructions, pace of instruction, effectiveness of additional visuals (e.g. text, arrows, circles, directional words, and intentionally chosen descriptions of the motor teaching), teaching of complex motor planning skills, and overall implementation with clients who have ASD.
Post-VM Feedback Survey results indicated overall VM effectiveness of 4.06 on a scale from 1 (least effective) to 5 (most effective) across the aforementioned areas. The overall scores of our completed VM for the prioritized occupations of shoe-tying and tooth-brushing scored an average of 4.42 out of 5.
Video modeling can support engagement in daily occupations for individuals living with ASD. Visual supports paired with simple language and slow pace are essential to VM design for ASD. Contrary to findings from the literature, VM is cost-effective after the initial investment in time and equipment. Occupational therapists can further promote engagement in occupations through increased knowledge and implementation of VM in OT practice.
Le, Teresa; Rodrigues, Brianna; Blankenship, Katherine; Tabije, Gabrielle Ann; and Marshall, Cassandra, "Video Modeling and Occupational Engagement In Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2020). Occupational Therapy | Graduate Capstone Projects. 20.
Available for download on Monday, December 01, 2025