Video modeling is an evidence based practice used to teach a variety of socially relevant behaviors for children with Autism. Many times children with Autism are visual thinkers and learners. They learn best when information is presented to them visually rather than orally. Using video modeling, the children are provided with a visual model of a peer, adult, or themselves engaging in the targeted behavior they are expected to learn. After watching the video several times, the children are provided with an opportunity to imitate and generalize the behavior observed on the video.
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A number of studies have shown that video modeling increases play conversations between children with Autism and adults and peers. Since children with Autism struggle with social skills, it is beneficial to teach them to initiate play with others. Video modeling produces faster acquisition of the behavior and greater generalization in children with Autism than live modeling and without the use of reinforcements or prompting. Studies have confirmed that with video modeling, verbalization and play actions was maintained over time. Video modeling can be implemented from early childhood to adulthood and taught by professionals and parents in a variety of settings. It can be used in the classroom and at home by the parents to teach new skills the child needs to be successful.
A benefit of using video modeling is that it allows for parents, teachers, and people collaborating with the child to use the same method to teach targeted skills. It is difficult to learn and master a skill if the child is practicing different ways with different people. Because children with Autism have difficulties generalizing it is important to work together to teach targeted skills the same way. Video modeling allows for caregivers to do this. By everyone working together the child can learn the initial skill quicker and then work on generalization systematically. The child will experience success when everyone is working together, using the same video, and teaching the same skill the same way. Video modeling procedures have been used successfully to teach a variety of adaptive behaviors such as social, play, self care, and academic skills.
Types of Video Modeling
There are several types of video modeling that are used with children with Autism. The most common types of video modeling include basic video modeling, video self-modeling, point-of-view video modeling, and video prompting. Basic modeling involves recording either an adult or a peer modeling the targeted skill. The child watches this video at a later time. Video self-modeling records the child with Autism displaying the targeted skill. The child then watches themselves in the video at a later time. The point-of-view video modeling shows a video recorded from the perspective of the child with Autism. Video prompting is used when teaching a step by step skill. It is recorded by breaking the targeted skill into steps and pausing after steps to give the child with Autism an opportunity to practice each step. Many studies have found great success when combining models.
A study by Macdonald (2009) evaluated the effects of video modeling has in teaching children with Autism to engage in reciprocal pretend play with their peers without disabilities. The play included verbal interactions and cooperative play. The study consisted of two pairs of children, one with Autism and a peer without Autism. The pair was shown a video consisting of two adults acting out the sequence of pretend play. The children were directed to play and their responses, actions, and verbalizations were recorded. Both pairs demonstrated successful gains of play actions and increased verbalization between peers. The performance was maintained over time. The results of this study concluded that video modeling produced sequences of reciprocal pretend play between children with Autism and their peers without Autism. In this study, video modeling was an efficient strategy for teaching cooperative play. The appropriate play skills were gained with short exposure of the video and in the absence of reinforcements and prompting.
A study conducted by Allen et al. (2010) examined the effects video modeling had on teaching vocational skills to four young men with Autism. The participantsâ€™ ages ranged from 16-25 years old. Video modeling was used to teach the four adolescents to wear a WalkAround Mascot costume and entertain the customers in a store. The video for the training showed a mascot performing in a scripted and naturalistic setting. The participants watched the video twice and were then taken to the store to imitate for 10 minutes the behavior seen in the video. According to the results of this study, all participants learned to use the vocational skills after watching the video model. The young men enjoyed the experiment and reported they would be interested in continuing to perform at the store when the experiment would be over. Allen (2010) states â€œvideo modeling was an effective way to teach adolescents and young adults with ASDs to perform a vocational task in a social settingâ€.
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A study designed by Nikopoulos and Keenan (2007) was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of video modeling on building sequences of social behaviors. The study included three boys with Autism from the ages of 6.5-7 years old. The boys were given common objects that included a ball, a table, two rags, a vacuum cleaner, a plant pot, and a jacket. These objects were selected because of familiarization and to avoid instructions of using the objects appropriately. The participants were shown the video and data was collected after 5 minutes by observing behaviors in the areas of social initiation, reciprocal play, imitative responses, and object engagement. The study data suggest that the participants were successful in building a sequence of social behaviors. All of the students performed the activities in the same sequence as presented in the video. The participantâ€™s showed generalization across peers and the appropriate behaviors were maintained after the 2 month follow up period. Research proved that video modeling was successful for children with Autism in this study.
In the presented studies, video modeling has proven to be effective on children and adolescent with Autism. Results from these studies have demonstrated success across different settings and with the application of different skills. The results have also indicated that video modeling teaches skills at a rapid pace and with short exposure to the videos.
In conclusion, video modeling procedures have been used to successfully teach many types of skills and behaviors in the areas of academics, social, self-care, daily living, community, vocational, and play. When used effectively research has shown to produce more rapid acquisition and greater generalization than live modeling. Video modeling has also shown that prompting and reinforcement are not necessary to help children acquire the targeted skill. Video modeling is a great tool because of the visually cued instruction that allows children with Autism to learn by observation.