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Video modeling tools for play

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A wonderful and evidence-based tool for teaching children on the autism spectrum new skills is the use of video modeling. Video modeling can be used to teach social skills, communication, play, and daily living skills. Whilst autistic children find imitating challenging, using video modeling to teach imitation skills has been proven to be more motivating and less threatening than face-to-face modeling. 

How do we use video modeling?

  • You can make videos yourself of the skill or you can use ready-made videos. 
  • Each video will model one skill (examples: brushing your teeth, eating your dinner, turn-taking, or perspective-taking). 
  • The child watches the video and then copies the behavior they see. 
  • You can pause the video talk it through with the child and re-start it at any time. 
  • Videos can be used to provide perspective for children that is non-judgemental. 
  • Children learn through characters and understanding that they can use their favorite characters to help them achieve new goals. 

Why not try adding a Moshi track to the background when performing such tasks, to make them feel less anxious about learning something new?!

Video modeling tools for play

Tereshko, L., MacDonald, R., & Ahearn, W. H. (2010). Strategies for teaching children with autism to imitate response chains using video modeling. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4(3), 479–489. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2009.11.005 

MacDonald R, Sacramone S, Mansfield R, Wiltz K, Ahearn WH. Using video modeling to teach reciprocal pretend play to children with autism. J Appl Behav Anal. 2009 Spring;42(1):43-55. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2009.42-43. PMID: 19721729; PMCID: PMC2649844.