Date of Award:

Spring 2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Thomas Higbee

Comments

The following study was conducted to find out more about a video test that could identify social activities that are motivating for individuals with disabilities. Commonly tests can be administered to find what physical items, food, toys, games and so forth, are preferred but the process becomes infinitely more difficult when social activities and interactions are involved. Research has shown that participation in reinforcing social experiences is critical for development and crucial in social skill building. In this study, a video-based test was analyzed to see how effective it was in identifying these socially preferred activities in three individuals with disabilities. The study began with a parent interview, to identify potentially reinforcing activities, and a brief pretest with each participant. The participants then completed the video test in which they were allowed to choose, via video, which activities they wanted to do. When the video test was complete, the activity that each participant liked the most and least was used in the final phase of the study. Each participant was given an individual task and in each session they were rewarded for completing tasks with their most and least preferred activities. For each of the three participants the most highly preferred activity increased their task completion and the lowest preferred did not have a significant effect. These results suggest that the video-based preference assessment was able to successfully identify social activities that were preferred and nonpreferred for each participant.