Video modeling is an effective way to teach many students with autism. When a child will attend to a video (on the television or computer) better than to another person in real life (which is often the case with students who have autism) video modeling is more likely to be successful than in vivo modeling. Additionally, videos allow the student to re-watch certain steps repeatedly, and it frees up the teacher to interact with the child and prompt them (which is difficult to do while simultaneously modeling a behavior!).
Video modeling is especially helpful for those activities or behaviors that you can't model in class (bathing comes to mind) as well as those that are logistically difficult to model frequently (grocery shopping, eating at a restaurant).
One more benefit that I'd like to mention is that video modeling can allow parents, teachers and other therapists to collaborate and use the same method, terminology, etc. when working with a student - we know that students with autism tend to be very literal and have trouble generalizing - if everyone is on the same page, the student can learn the initial skill more quickly and THEN we can work on generalization systematically. Otherwise - if the parents are teaching a student how to do something (let's say put on a jacket), the teacher is teaching another way, and the OT is working on a different way, the child is less likely to learn the skill because they aren't getting consistent practice. And let's face it, trying to write out exactly what you're doing so that another person can try to replicate your instruction is tedious and maybe even impossible. If you use a video and everyone is working from the same video, all teachers/therapists/parents/etc. are doing the same thing with the child and the child will be more likely to experience success!
Video modeling can be used to teach (or review) many types of skills - academic, social, self-help, community, play and more.
I am a huge fan of the "Special Kids" videos - my students love "Mr. John" and they have learned a lot from his videos.
Other places you can find video modeling videos:
- YouTube I searched autism + "video modeling"
- Model Me Kids
- Social Skill Builder
- Watch Me Learn (*now has an
It's also very easy to make your own videos modeling things using the exact wording and steps that you want to include. (Perhaps you are working with a lower functioning student and you need each step broken down and described more than in the video you found - or you have a student who can do most of the steps independently and you only need certain steps described and broken down).
Here are two videos I made modeling the steps to washing hands and brushing teeth.
(I want to point out that when you make your own videos, you should do what I didn't do and make sure you have everything set up beforehand - we did this after school and we had already cleaned up the bathroom for the custodians to mop - so the trash can and laundry basket weren't under the counter for the toothbrushing video)
Here is a video from a conference about video modeling and
Here is a book about video modeling.