Research base for using video models with children who have autism

Research Base for Using Video Models with Autistic Individuals

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Video modeling is an instructional technique where a video is used to demonstrate a particular skill or activity. Video modeling has been effectively used with individuals who have autism. The following list is a brief summary of skills researchers have taught individuals with autism using video models.

Video Models can be effectively used to:

  • increase conversational speech (Charlop & Milstein, 1989; Sherer et al., 2001)
  • generalize shopping skills (Haring, Kennedy, Adams, & Pitts-Conway, 1987)
  • teach communication and social skills (Kimball, Kinney, Taylor, & Stromer, 2004)
  • teaching social behaviors (e.g. complement giving) particularly when followed by additional practice, prompts, and role playing for high functioning ASD (Apple, Billingsley, & Schwartz, 2005)
  • teach play skills (motor and verbal) –without prompting, correction, or reinforcement from adults (D’Ateno, Manigiapanello, & Taylor, 2003) and increase play-related statements towards siblings (Taylor, Levin, & Jasper, 1999)
  • teach perspective taking (the ability to determine the mental states of others)  (Charlop-Christy & Daneshvar, 2003)
  • increasing spontaneous requesting (Wert & Neisworth, 2003)

When I taught children with autism in the public school setting, I used video models to teach my students classroom routines such as, what to do in a fire drill, how to take the attendance to the office, and how to wash your hands. I have also used video models with my own children to teach the steps for toileting and to demonstrate learning and play activities.

Consider creating a video model to teach your child or student a missing skill. With current recording technology, videos models are easy to create and show to children. For further reading on video modeling, consider the following books:






Apple, A. L., Billingsley, F., & Schwartz, I. S.  (2005).  Effects of video modeling alone and with self-management on compliment-giving behaviors of children with high-functioning ASD.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 7, 33-46.

Charlop, M. H., & Milstein, J. P. (1989).  Teaching autistic children conversational speech using video modeling.  Journal of Applied Behavioral Analysis, 22, 275-285.

Charlop-Christy, M. H., & Daneshvar, S.  (2003).  Using video modeling to teach perspective taking to children with autism.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5, 12-21.

D’Ateno, P., Manigiapanello, K., & Taylor, B. A.  (2003).  Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to a preschooler with autism.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5, 5-11.

Haring, T. G., Kennedy, C. H., Adams, M. J., & Pitts-Conway, V. (1987).  Teaching generalization of purchasing skills across community settings to autistic youth using videotape modeling.  Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 20, 89-96.

Kimball, J. W., Kinney, E. M., Taylor, B. A., & Stromer, R.  (2004).  Video enhanced activity schedules for children with autism: A promising package for teaching social skills.  Education and Treatment of Children, 27(3), 280-298.

Taylor, B. A., Levin, L., & Jasper, S.  (1999).  Increasing play-related statements in children with autism toward their siblings: Effects of video modeling.  Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 11, 253-264.

Wert, B. Y., & Neisworth, J. T.  (2003).  Effects of video self-modeling on spontaneous requesting in children with autism.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5, 30-34.


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