Video Observation and Data Collection for Special Service Providers

Julie Zieff

As part of an Independent Study during this spring semester, I focused on studying how to apply the Rydell Protocol in work with an ASD student who is attends 5th grade at one of the elementary schools I offer OT services.  During this independent study, the Swivl device was used to record sessions as a medium to gather observational data of student’s level of engagement for “on-task” behavior (i.e. drawing art on vertical surface in standing position vs. horizontal position, engaged in sensory strategy of 10-7’s) vs. disengagement or “off task” behavior to measure frequency of student taking a break or engaging in off task as well as the student’s interactions with OT/SLP, Art teacher, & his peers.  This also helped to note the extraneous objects the ASD student was drawn to more or less in environment such as the sink & hand sanitizer, smartboard, trash can, & bubble wrapAdditionally, the Rydell protocol highlighted additional areas of teaching play skills as part of ways to support development in self care tasks, play, and scaffolding to build upon for academics.  The swivl will be helpful in future sessions to measure performance for Harley during these tasks.  Particular goals that were focus of measuring the data gathered from the swivl also included the following:

How long was student engaged with focused attention to any particular task?

What tasks were his longest sustained attention to task? 

How did the task components compare with one another? 

How many cues and prompts were provided for student to be redirected to focus on assigned tasks?

How did student respond when 1 adult was present offering instruction and support? 

Was student’s response more or less successful when more than 1 adult was present during direct instruction? 

This opportunity to explore the reflective process during the independent study offered new insight for next steps of how to shape consecutive therapy sessions to follow. 

These next steps included the following:

  1.  Contacting Art teacher prior to class to allow opportunity to gather information on details of art assignment for that day so that additional materials could be made available to ASD student that may encourage student to expand on art assignment to multi-dimensional level with art teacher’s permission. 
  2. Making sure to only allow 1 adult providing support while other therapist/para is stepping in background available, if needed.  This also allows for ASD student to be further developing flexibility and expanding comfort zone for working with another adult or peer based on particular day.  This is a recommendation of Rydell protocol within Learning style Profile #3 (LSP #3) to expand ASD student’s ability to respond to social cues of multiple partners. 
  3. Recognizing that ASD student engaged best in Art tasks drawn on vertical white board surface rather than horizontal white board surface. 

In conclusion, the process of completing the independent study with Maggie Bruski provided me the opportunity to reflect and relate new strategies and further develop new plans to apply research based principles from Dr. Pat Rydell into therapy sessions with my student with ultimate long term goals for student to be considered for his 6th grade school year next year.