Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Effects of Film-making on the Social Skills of Children with ASD

Alisa Wolf, Fielding's School of Educational Leadership & Change

The incidence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has increased over the past decade (Notbom, 2005). According to the Center for Disease Control (2012), one in 88 births in the United States will result in ASD. Since social skills deficits are one of the most prominent deficits in children on the spectrum, it is crucial that this type of intervention occur early in their life (Freeman, Cronin, & Candela, 2002). In this study, the effects of the film-making process on children with ASD were examined to determine its impact on their social skills. Children with ASD ages 13 to 17 met for one week Monday through Friday from 10:00 am-3:00 pm to learn the process of film-making. The children, parents, and the instructor completed The Children’s Self-Report Social Skills Scale (Phelps & Danielson, (2003) at the beginning and end of the study. In addition, the children, parents, and instructor were interviewed before and after the workshop. The quantitative data showed a significant increase from Time 1 to Time 2 on a one-way repeated measures analysis of variance. Significant effects were found for form, F (2, 30) = 13.30, p < .001, partial eta squared = .470; time, F (1, 15) = 148.32, p < .001, partial eta squared = .908; and form by time, F (2, 40) = 21.76, p < .001, partial eta squared = .592. In addition, comments from children, parents, and the instructor were converted to 1 to 5 scales, and their comments at Time 1 were compared with their comments at Time 2 using paired-samples t -tests. Significant growth was noted between Time 1 and Time 2 for the children’s, parents’, and instructor’s responses to the children’s ability to interact with peers. Significant growth was noted from Time 1 to Time 2 in both the parents’ responses and the instructor’s responses for children’s ability to make eye contact, greet others, tell about their feelings, and participate in discussions. Significant growth was noted for the parents’ responses for child’s ability to initiate contact, and significant growth was noted for the instructor’s responses for the child’s ability to follow instructions and talk with adults. Both the parents’ and the instructor’s responses indicated that the children grew significantly on paired-samples t tests from Time 1 to Time 2 on the number of exchanges they made on both non-preferred and preferred topics.

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