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Errorless modeling and social skills training using Audacity

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:10pm

I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I have been utilizing the free downloadable audio editing program, Audacity, to do errorless modeling in social skills programs for individuals with Asperger's and Autism.  Since I haven't completed a screencast (using Camtasia) demonstrating the process, I've decided instead to post the media files that walk you through the program.

My social skills programs involves four steps: 1) Use audacity to record teaching a target person how to do a particular social skill, such as "how to have a conversation."  Use verbal prompts at each step of teaching the skill 2) Use the audacity editing functions to delete all verbal prompts by the instructor 3) Play the final "prompt free" or "errorless"  audio program to the target person 4) Follow up with a Behavioral Test (BAT) to assess the effectiveness of the errorless modeling intervention.

Here's a run through that I did with a "typical" non-Asperger's/AD child.  The first audio file involves teaching the child how to have a conversation using verbal prompts.  The steps for "having a conversation" were taken from Goldstein's Skillstreaming program:

Download conversation1.mp3 (1min23secs)

In step two, I remove all prompts by the instructor, thereby leaving a much shorter "errorless" audiotape:

Download conversation1-Revised.mp3 (38secs)

The final step is a videotape (using my cheap webcam) of an independent conversation or "Behavioral Test" (BAT) to assess whether or not the child is able to complete all steps of the conversational program (e.g., greeting, small talk, big point, closing) without any verbal prompts by the instructor.  Using inexpensive technology in this manner for social skills training for a wide variety of children may have implications for "Individual Education Plans" or IEP's.

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