Gayathri Mahadevan

Video Modelling to teach children with autism

Posted On: September 11th, 2014    Posted By: Gayathri Mahadevan  To  Autism

Video modelling is defined as, “the occurrence of a behavior by an observer that is similar to the behavior shown by a model on a videotape”.

Modelling is regarded as one of the basic learning processes and it is also treated in the science of applied behavior analysis as a procedure for teaching new behaviors and improving already acquired ones. Modelling can be defined as a procedure whereby a sample of a given behavior is presented to an individual and then the behavior of that individual is assessed to determine if he or she engages in a similar behavior. Video is regarded as a novel and expanding technological medium for positive behavioral support. It has considerable potential as an effective and socially acceptable form of support, mainly because it is widely used by typically developing children and adults for leisure, educational and business activities.

In the area of autism, video modelling has concentrated on teaching a variety of different skills and video technology was used for a retrospective analysis for the identification of early symptoms such as sensory-motor and social behaviors, communication and attention in infants who subsequently were diagnosed as having autism.

Advantages of video modelling in Autism

  •   Video models can present a variety of different behaviors in realistic contexts
  • –  Video may be a useful medium for learners who cannot take advantage of print materials or of complex – language repertoires
  • –  Video can efficiently display various examples of stimulus and response situations, taking advantage of the observed attentional skills of children with autism to graphical presentations.
  • –  A video modelling procedure can lead to new intervention strategies in such a way that individuals with – autism could control their severe behavior problems
  • –  Video modelling promotes discrimination training for the target children or their families, by including error models. In this way, not only does training in the correct responses take place, but it is also relatively easy to show which responses are to be avoided. The video medium provides new opportunities for addressing the generalization deficits displayed by children with autism.
  • –  Video modelling serves as an efficient cost-effective tool in the treatment of individuals with autism.  kid watching a video model

Instructions and Guidelines for using Video Modelling procedures

Below is an overview of the general instructions and guidelines that were taken into consideration.

  • –   After a task analysis, each component of a specific task should be videotaped. The number of sequences to be shown needs to be gauged for a particular child experimentally.
  •  –  Preferably one model should be used. Simple behaviors demonstrated by the model should be about 30–40 seconds maximum.
  • –   At the initial stages, the setting viewed in the videotape should be the same as the setting in which the child will demonstrate the imitative behavior. Thereafter, different settings could be used.
  • –   The treatment provider has to be sure that the videotape shows a close-up of the action he or she wants the child to imitate.
  •  –  The child should be allowed to watch each video clip at least once.
  •  –  The child has to be allowed to have at least two or three minutes to demonstrate the modelled behavior. Whether or not the child has imitated the videotaped behavior, the treatment provider could occasionally provide him or her with praise or a small piece of food for behaving well unless disruptive or challenging behaviors are in place.
  •  –  The child should watch the same modelled sequence again if he or she fails to imitate the behaviors; this should be done at least three times.
  •  –  The treatment provider must keep data for every trial and let the child have at least three successful trials before he or she moves to the next video clip.
  • –  Programming for maintenance and generalization of the imitative behavior must take place across settings, stimuli, people and time.

NOTE: In our clinical experience we have used video modelling to teach tooth brushing, colour concepts, using communicative sentences like “no”, “give me”,  etc and we have seen  tremendous and quicker improvements in kids with autism in learning these concepts.