Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Video calling with nonverbal children with autism
by Shea, Kathleen, Ed.D., University of Bridgeport, 2014, 119; 3667421
Abstract (Summary)

Twenty five percent of individuals diagnosed with autism are nonverbal and need to learn to communicate using alternative means (National Research Council, 2001) in order to build functional spontaneous communication. Joint attention behaviors are critical for communication development (Mundy & Newell, 2007). This study introduces a video calling intervention to target the joint attention behaviors, eye gaze, verbalization and gestures. The purpose of this study was to discover what relationship exists between video calling and joint attention in nonverbal children with autism and to explore the perspectives of parents and their communication interaction with the child. This case study of two children is a quantitative ABA withdrawal design and a qualitative narrative design. The ABA design uses seven-inch Prestige 7 Connect tablets and Skype, video calling software program to communicate during game, reading and discussion activities. Observing and recording procedures were used to collect the data and visual analysis was conducted using graphs, tables. The narrative design used parent interviews and questionnaires to build themes. The findings indicate that video calling had a positive impact on eye gaze and verbalization behaviors during discussion and game activities. From the narrative analysis emerged a theme of engagement and focus. The conclusions indicate that video calling has impact on some joint attention behaviors and increases engagement in nonverbal children with autism. Implications for this study include using video calling in the classroom for peer interactions and skill building. Further study is needed to increase the generalizability of these findings.

Keywords: joint attention, video calling, nonverbal, autism, engagement

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Noto, Lori
Commitee: Christ, Thomas, Prelli, Gail
School: University of Bridgeport
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Connecticut
Source: DAI-A 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Special education, Educational technology
Keywords: Autism, Engagement, Joint attention, Nonverbal, Video calling
Publication Number: 3667421
ISBN: 9781321416503