Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Kelly Kohler

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan D. Poling

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Steven Ragotzy


Imitation, autism, behavior analysis, early intervention, video modeling, flexible prompt fading


Imitation is a critical skill that allows individuals to learn through less restrictive prompting methods and may allow access to less restrictive learning environments, such as typical classrooms, where instruction is often delivered by modeling. Many individuals with autism learn to imitate with interventions that utilize live models and least-to-most prompting strategies; but, for some, these methods are not successful or efficient. While video modeling has been used to teach a variety of skills to individuals with autism, there is limited research using video modeling to teach imitation. This study investigated the effectiveness of using a video modeling treatment package to teach imitation to four children with autism who had been unsuccessful with other teaching methods. A multiple-baseline design across behaviors was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a video modeling treatment package to teach imitation. Baseline consisted of treatment-as-usual, which used live models and least-to-most prompting. The video modeling treatment package consisted of video models and most-to-least prompting faded within session. Of the four children, one acquired imitation with the original video modeling treatment package. Two of the children acquired imitation only after modifying the prompting method of the video modeling treatment package to flexible prompt fading. One child did not acquire imitation during his participation in the study.


Fifth Advisor: Carmen Jonaitis, Ed.D.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access