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Video Modeling

“Video Modeling” shows success for Autism 

Written by: Elizabeth Hawkins, M.Ed., BCBA

September 19th, 2019

A child on the Autism Spectrum (and even neurotypical children) appear to have deep levels of attention and concentration for tablets and electronics. Many parents and caretakers find its just not worth the resistance, and they remain attached to their devices…for a while.   

Connect Plus Therapy has been using the tablet medium to help achieve behavioral therapy goals through Video Modeling. This is a powerful teaching tool and an evidence based practice used at to teach a wide range of skills. 

What is Video Modeling?

A simple 30 second video clip that illustrates the exact action of a targeted behavior or skill. Videos can be created and individualized to fit the exact treatment goals and sub skills that are needed to be targeted at the time. There are many supporting studies that have shown just how effective the use of video modeling can be for an individual on the autism spectrum.

Video modeling can be used to:

Teach social skills like how to greet a friend appropriately

Play skills like how to stack blocks to create a tower or feed a baby doll a bottle

Functional skills like washing your hands and taking out the trash 

Academic skills like creating number patterns or how to form the letters of one’s name

The options are endless.

The use of video modeling may be an especially powerful teaching tool for individuals on the autism spectrum for several reasons: 

  1. Behavior analysts and behavior technicians are able to hone in on exactly where errors might be occurring and can create a video which focuses on that particular area of need. 
  2. Video models can be visually appealing to individuals with autism and can also allow the creator of the video to eliminate distractions in the natural environment and help to focus attention to the important details. 
  3. These videos can also be viewed as little or as many times as needed and the information is presented the same way each time.
  4. Video models featuring peers, siblings or even parents are a great option for teaching individuals with autism because they allow repeated opportunities to observe and learn skills in a social way that does not require the real time face to face interactions that may be intimidating or challenging. 

All of these important aspects make video modeling one of the evidence based interventions we find to be an easy, effective and individualized way to teach a range of skills. Don’t forget to check out the links to a few of our favorite video models.