I whole-heartedly admit that I love using video modeling to teach new skills to individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. Today’s learners love technology and are typically more willing to try harder tasks when I use this method. But this is only one of the reasons I use this technique. There is a plethora (yes, I said plethora) of research that supports the use of video modeling effectively teach a variety of skills. I also find it to be ideally suited to teach the skills parents are most interested in improving: hygiene, self-care tasks, chores, and cooking.
With guidance from a qualified practitioner, parents can also use this method to provide additional learning opportunities and help individuals become more independent with these skills. Students typically perform adaptive skills in the home environment so it is natural to learn those skills there. Working in the home allows learners to form routines and eliminates any confusion that may be caused when teaching a skill in an environment where not likely to be performed. For example, teaching an individual to independently cook a meal in a clinical setting poses problems because the kitchen is set up differently, ingrediants may be different, and the items will be stored in different locations. Some skills, like hygiene routines, require a level of privacy that make it difficult to teach in a school or clinical setting. Video Modeling
Video Modeling can also help individuals learn skills that many parents are uncomfortable having outsiders teach. Some skills, like hygiene routines, require a level of privacy that make it difficult to teach in a school or clinical setting. Video modeling programming allows these skills to be practiced within the home. They can be taught by family or trusted therapists to ensure privacy and also reinforce personal boundaries for the learner. Ultimately, learning to perform self-care tasks independently fosters greater freedom and improves the chances of independent living.
With years of research supporting the use of video modeling, many people question why this method is underused. With more and more schools providing iPads and tablets for instructors, video programs are very simple to create. Some educators also assume that the time and money required to make video modeling materials is too high. However, the cost and time required to create a video modeling program are also considerably less than those associated with traditional teaching methods. Videos can be saved and used for many students used over many years. Implementation of video modeling programs can also reduce the overall cost of services since these programs can be delivered by paraprofessionals, behavior technicians, and family members.
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