Using Video Modeling to Toilet Train a Child with Autism

Using Video Modeling to Toilet Train a Child with Autism

Topic of the review paper

Using Video Modeling to Toilet Train a Child with Autism

Problem Statement; significance of the educational problem/issue

Autistic children continue to face challenges in attaining independent toileting thus requiring services of caregivers. This development has resulted into negative personal hygiene as well as physical discomforts and reduced levels of self esteem among the autistic children. In a bid to solve the problem, various concepts geared towards the solution of the problem have been floated. Today, video modeling is one of the most applied methods of training children with autism how to use the toilet. However, the results have not been encouraging as far as improvements are concerned. Some children with autism face delayed toileting acquisitions with others never attaining the skill (Lee et al, 2014). This scenario has raised concern on the effectiveness of video modeling in toilet training of children with autism. The problem is highly significant in understanding the issues that children with autism face. In addition, the results of this study will contribute to the improvement of the education potential of these children as they can comfortably attend classes.


Important research findings

The subject of toilet training among children with disabilities has been explored widely over the recent past. However, most of these studies have not focused on the attainment of related skills such as flushing the toilet and undressing before using the toilet (Szyndler, 1996). The result is that there is a gap in the understanding of the specific problems of children with autism. In addition, the extent of toileting problems facing the children with autism has not resulted in significant research in the area (Rayner, 2015). Some of the studies have recommended a shift from the current techniques of toilet training to alternative approaches for the autistic population. One of the methods proposed for improved training is video modeling (Wang & Koyama, 2014) that involves children observing videos of people using the toilet and then imitating it.

The concept of video modeling has attained considerable success in training different skill sets to children with autism in the areas of communication, social and academics (Lee et al, 2014). Although the technique is highly effective, it has been shown to be best suited for children with autism. The basis of video modeling is that it focuses on the children’s strengths in visual processing as well as their high interest in videos (McLay et al, 2015). The use of video modeling further benefits from the fact that one video can be used in many places thus saving the costs of training. Also, the availability of video editing functionalities is effective in the control of irrelevant environmental stimuli. Still, the effectiveness of video modeling in toilet training of children with autism is not guaranteed. Certain strategies can however be used alongside video modeling to improve the acquisitions of required skills (Drysdale et al, 2015). Ultimately, therefore, video modeling is most effective when used with customized strategies based on the specific requirements of the child.


Research questions

Can video modeling be used to toilet train a child with autism?

What are the effects of video modeling on toilet training a child with Autism?


Purpose of the review paper

This review paper is purposed towards ascertaining whether video modeling can be used in toilet training children with autism. Consequently, the main purpose of the review paper is to gauge the effectiveness of video modeling in its application to toilet train children with autism. The different needs of children with autism will be explored before analyzing how video modeling can meet these needs. Eventually, the review paper will come up with recommendations on how the concept can best be used in toilet training. The paper hopes to contribute to the literature available with regards to autism in children and the effectiveness of video based toilet training.


Search method

In identifying articles relevant to the topic of study, I used the services of EBSCO host. In particular, the keywords of autism, toilet training and video modeling were used to refine the search. The use of the conjunction “and” was necessary to ensure that the results were drawn from all the keywords. The search results were further refined through the limitation to only those that were scholarly journals. This step was attained by ticking the box labeled ‘peer reviewed journals’. Following the search, there were more than 50 results drawn from various publications. However, I perused through each of these articles and selected six articles that I considered to be the most relevant to the study topic.


List of key journals relevant to the research questions

Lee, C. Y. Q., Anderson, A., & Moore, D. W. (2014). Using video modeling to toilet train a child with autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 26(2), 123-134.

McLay, L., Carnett, A., van der Meer, L., & Lang, R. (2015). Using a Video Modeling-Based Intervention Package to Toilet Train Two Children with Autism. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 27(4), 431-451.

Drysdale, B., Lee, C. Y. Q., Anderson, A., & Moore, D. W. (2015). Using video modeling incorporating animation to teach toileting to two children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 27(2), 149-165.

Wang, H. T., & Koyama, T. (2014). An analysis and review of the literature and a three-tier video modeling intervention model. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(7), 746-758.

Rayner, C. (2015). Video-based intervention for children with autism: Towards improved assessment of pre-requisite imitation skills. Developmental neurorehabilitation, 18(2), 113-121.

Szyndler, J. (1996). Toileting problems in a group of children with autism. Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review, 1(1), 19-25.


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