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Familiar video stories as a means for children with autism: an analytics approach
Chen C., Bobzien J., Giannakos M., Bruhn A., Bruggeman A., Mohrehkesh S., Zhang M., Hsu W., Chrisochoides N.  ICHI 2015 (Proceedings of the 2015 International Conference on Healthcare Informatics, Dallas, TX,  Oct 21-23, 2015) 368-373. 2015. Type: Proceedings
Date Reviewed: Jun 8 2016

This interesting paper concerns a very small-scale pilot study of the effectiveness of the blend of social stories and personalized video modeling, which are modern and promising intervention approaches for children with autism. According to Gray and Garand, “a social story describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format” [1]. Also, “videos depicting exemplary behaviors can be effective in helping children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop social skills and daily living skills” [2].

Two innovative and critical issues are studied in this paper:

(1) The authors study video face replacement social stories; that is, the face of the character represented in the video social story is the actual child with ASD. This form of personalization is very unique as most of the video social stories contain mainly cartoons (for example, “Look at Me Now!” [3] or “Special Kids” [4]) or a blend of a cartoon character with an adult, such as in “Be Like Buddy” by Dan Kalinowski [5].

(2) The authors examine how children with autism navigate and perceive the content of a personalized video social story. Using a very sophisticated tool for video analysis, called VLAS by Giannakos et al. [6], the authors try to understand children’s multifaceted interactions with video material.

This nicely written study reports that viewing the personalized video social story helps reduce the anxiety and stress associated with going to the dentist. However, the positive outcomes associated with the use of video social stories cannot be generalized.

Further work with regard to a study using a multiple baseline design across children and within each child across tasks in order to assess the impact could be done. Several interesting papers could give ideas for future research in this field [7,8].

Reviewer:  Symeon Retalis Review #: CR144484 (1609-0712)
1) Gray, C.; Garand, J. D. Social stories: improving responses of students with autism with accurate social information. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 8, 1(1993), 1–10.
2) Bellini, S.; Akullian, J. D. A meta-analysis of video modeling and video self-modeling interventions for children and adolescents with ASD. Exceptional Children 73 (2007), 261–268.
3) Look at Me Now!, LLC. http://lookatmenow.org (05/31/2016).
4) Special Kids Video Modeling Media. http://www.special-kids.com (05/31/2016).
5) Be Like Buddy. http://www.belikebuddy.com (05/31/2016).
6) Giannakos, M.; Chorianopoulos, K.; Chrisochoides, N. Making sense of video analytics: lessons learned from clickstream interactions, attitudes, and learning outcome in a video-assisted course. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 16, 1(2015), 260–283.
7) Litras, S.; Moore, D. W.; Anderson, A. Using video self-modeled social stories to teach social skills to a young child with autism. Autism Research and Treatment Article ID 83497 (2010), 1–9.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428619/.
8) Bernad-Ripoll, S. Using a self-as-model video combined with social stories to help a child with Asperger syndrome understand emotions. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities 22, 2(2007), 100–106.
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