Joshua Plavnick, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Assistant Professor - Michigan State University

Afternoon Session ~

"Video-based Group Instruction for Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities"

Deficits in social skills are a core characteristic among individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Current procedures to improve social functioning among this population have had limited success. Nevertheless, service providers require effective methods for teaching social interaction to individuals with ASD, particularly older individuals and those with more intensive instructional needs.

This presentation will outline the process for developing and implementing an intensive social skills training program within a public high school setting for individuals with ASD, specifically individuals with ASD and co-occurring intellectual disability. Participants will learn how we have implemented daily social skills groups, with an emphasis on our primary instructional procedures: video modeling, peer-mediated social skills training, and natural environment training procedures. In addition to providing an overview of the procedures used and student outcomes, we will describe the logistics associated with implementing the program within the structure of a high school environment.

Learning Objectives:

After attending this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify organizational components that influence implementation
  • Learn strategies for grouping individuals with ASD for social skill instruction
  • Learn about the process for preparing to administer a video-based social skills group
  • Be introduced to methods for teaching social skills within the group format, with an emphasis on video modeling
  • Identify resources in their own settings to support sustained implementation of a daily social skills program

About the Presenter ~

Joshua Plavnick
Joshua is an assistant professor of special education and director of the graduate certificate program in applied behavior analysis. He conducts intervention research focused on unique combinations of instructional technology with behavioral and observational learning strategies to teach pivotal skills, such as social initiations and reading.

He is currently the Principal Investigator for a series of studies examining the effectiveness of video-based instruction to teach social behavior to individuals with autism and intellectual disability. He is also developing a comprehensive reading program for school-aged children with autism. His recent work includes examinations of video modeling to teach language to previously non-vocal children with autism and self-management strategies to improve implementation of behavioral programming by public educators.