New research has emerged indicating that video modeling is an effective tool in enhancing “social communication and functional skills in children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).” Video modeling entails a child watching a video of a target behavior and imitating that behavior. Similarly, video self-modeling, is also an effective method used illicit certain target behaviors. Here, children watch a video of themselves, rather than a peer, sibling, or adult, and model the behavior.
These evidence-based interventions are successful because children and adolescents with ASD because of the inherent traits associated with a video. By eliminating the anxiety associated with social interactions and the distractions associated with external stimulation such as lighting and noise, children are able to focus more intently on the behaviors being modeled in the videos. Given that children with ASD usually focus on details rather than the bigger picture, videos can be quite effective in that they draw the attention and can be captivating. This is particularly true for visual learners. Follow-up research showed that these behaviors remained intact several months after initially introduced.
Both video modeling and self-video modeling have been found to lead to overall improved social-communication skills. This has been seen in verbal and play behaviors, and also maintained over time. Research also shows that the videos have been effective in teaching functional, or daily living, skills to children on the spectrum.
Overall, the research supporting video and video-self modeling is encouraging. These evidence based interventions are one of many that have proven successful with children with autism.
Based on an article written by Jill Krata, PhD.