Video Modeling: How do I use it?

Three Types of Videos

  1. Video Peer-Modeling: Video of a peer completing the routine. Students attend best to video models that share similar characteristics to themselves (Bellini & Akullian, 2007).
  2. Video Self-Modeling: Video of the student completing the routine. Videos depicting the targeted student must only show successful attempts of the targeted skill. Strategic taping and editing must be used to show the child successfully completing the routine (Bellini & Akullian, 2007).
  3. Video Perspective-Modeling: Video of a routine filmed from the perspective of the student.

Check out an example of video perspective-modeling here.

Phases of Intervention

Phase 1

Introduce the edited video of the desired skill to your student by first simply playing it in the student’s presence—no expectations or demands at first.

Phase 2

Watch the video with the student. You can either listen to the embedded audio or mute the videos and speak your own simplified narration as the routine plays. It can be helpful to pair steps of the video with visual icons to provide greater visually cued instruction. After viewing the video model, practice the skill through discrete practice sessions or role-playing (this is the production process of observational learning). Offer prompts, cues, immediate models, and redirection as needed for the student to be successful.

Phase 3

Consistently watch the appropriate video before completing a targeted routine to ensure sufficient exposure to the model. Each time the student completes the routine fade prompts and cues to scaffold to independence. As the student becomes more successful with the routine periodically review the video models as professionally determined.

A Note About Motivation

Encourage the student attend to the videos using verbal redirection cues but remember attention is not a prerequisite skill for learning and research has indicated modeling and frequent exposure are sufficient to support learning without hand-over-hand assistance and use of external reinforcers or punishments (D’Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor, 2003).

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Video Modeling: What is it?

What is it?

Video-modeling is an evidence-based intervention strategy that integrates visually cued instruction and the processes of observational learning.

Visually cued instruction is simply using visual cues (pictographic or written) to support understanding. Many of our students with language impairments demonstrate relative strengths processing information visually. Ganz et. al (2008) found that the use of visually cued instruction increased imitation skills and decreased reliance on physical and verbal prompts in children with Autism and other developmental delays.

Observational Learning

Observational learning is the process of learning through watching others, retaining the information, and then later replicating the behaviors that we observed. There are four processes involved in observational learning: attention, retention, production, and motivation.

Video modeling (VM) supports the processes of observational learning in the following ways:

  • Attention: VM improves the attention of students by selectively focusing their attention on relevant stimuli and effectively removing extraneous visual/auditory stimuli and the pressures of social interaction.
  • Retention: VM improves memory and recall by offering repeated viewings and therefore frequent, consistent repetition of the targeted skill.
  • Production: VM intervention procedure requires practice of the targeted skill after each viewing offering active learning opportunities through production of the skill.
  • Motivation: ”Several researchers posit that VM interventions by virtue of the visual medium are inherently motivating and naturally reinforcing” (Corbett & Abdullah, 2005). A study by D’Ateno, Mangiapanello, & Taylor (2003) demonstrated the effects of VM absent of physical prompting, error correction, and extrinsic reinforcement from adults—essentially exposure to the video models and increased opportunity to access the materials/situations presented in the videos was enough to cause improvements in the targeted skill.

Video Modeling is a well-validated, evidence-based behavioral intervention that facilitates observational learning using modeling and visually cued instruction. It has proven to be an effective intervention strategy for teaching Autistic children novel communication skills, social skills, play routines, self- regulation strategies, academic skills, and community life skills.

Benefits of Video Modeling (VM)

  • VM leads to faster acquisition and greater maintenance of skills compared to in-person modeling and discrete trial training.
  • VM results in greater generalization across settings, stimuli, and communication partners.
  • VM is associated with increased spontaneous, unscripted verbal behavior.
  • VM offers predictability which reduces anxiety and supports emotional-regulation necessary for learning.
  • VM supports the development of self-visualization, which is an important executive functioning skill necessary for self-regulation and increased autonomy.

Video Modeling Example

You can download the Video Modeling for Toy Routines: Tools Boom Card Deck for free here to try this intervention out for yourself!

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Bellini, S., & Akullian, J. (2007). A Meta-Analysis of Video Modeling and Video Self- Modeling Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Exceptional Children, 73(3), 264–287.

Corbett, Blythe & Abdullah, Maryam. (2005). Video Modeling: Why does it work for children with autism?. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention. 2. 10.1037/h0100294.

D’Ateno, P., Mangiapanello, K., & Taylor, B. A. (2003). Using video modeling to teach complex play sequences to a preschooler with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 5(1), 5-11.

Delano, M. E. (2007). Video modeling interventions for individuals with autism. Remedial and Special Education, 28(1), 33-42.

Ganz, J. & Bourgeois, Bethany & Flores, Margaret & Campos, B.. (2008). Implementing Visually Cued Imitation TrainingWith Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Delays. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 10. 10.1177/109830070731

Hine, J. F., & Wolery, M. (2006). Using point-of-view video modeling to teach play to preschoolers with autism. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 26(2), 83-93.

Lequia, Jenna & Wilkerson, Kimber & Kim, Sunyoung & Lyons, Gregory. (2014). Improving Transition Behaviors in Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions. 17. 10.1177/1098300714548799.

Structure Your Speech Therapy Sessions Using Speech Bins

If you asked me, what is one thing you learned in your graduate clinical placements that you still use in your practice today? My answer would be speech bins. Speech bins are an adapted work system consisting of three numbered plastic bins (I use a three drawer Sterilite container). At the beginning of each session, you place an activity or set of activities in each bin. During the session, the student(s) work through the bins until all of the activities inside have been completed. Speech bins define the amount of work expected and establish a definite ending to when the session is over.

The idea of speech bins comes from the Structured TEACCHing approach.

What is TEACCH?

The TEACCH Autism Program is based out of the University of North Carolina. It is a university-based system of community centers that offer programs providing clinical services and trainings, and conducting research.

TEACCH stands for:

  • Teaching – Sharing knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorder and increasing the skill level of professionals and practitioners through innovative education, teaching, and demonstration models.
  • Expanding – Commitment to expanding our own knowledge and that of others to ensure that we offer the highest quality, evidence-based services to Autistic individuals and their families across the lifespan.
  • Appreciating – Appreciating the strengths and uniqueness of Autistic culture.
  • Collaborating and Cooperating with colleagues, other professionals, Autistic people, and their families.
  • Holistic – Adopting a holistic approach, looking at the person, their family, and their communities throughout the lifespan.

TEACCH is known for utilizing a Structured TEACCHing approach, which is designed to respond to the needs of Autistic people using the best available, evidence-based methods known so far, for educating and teaching autonomy. It is not a curriculum or program, but rather a framework to support access to academic instruction and therapeutic intervention.  The framework includes physical organization, individualized schedules, work systems, and visual structure of materials in tasks and activities.

Primarily, Structured TEACCHing aims to carefully construct the student’s environment to support self-regulation and the highest level of independence.

Work Systems

One component of the Structured TEACCHing Framework is work systems. Work systems are bins, each containing an activity to be completed. Work systems, as they are described in the Structured TEACCHing approach, are intended to be completed independently. Therefore, only already mastered activities with clear start and endpoints should be placed in each bin. Work systems teach independence, NOT skills. Work systems help the student answer the following questions:

  1. What work needs to be done?
  2. How much work needs to be done?
  3. How do I know when I’m finished?
  4. What do I do next?

Speech Bins

Okay, so speech bins are basically just an adapted work system. TEACCH emphasizes that teaching organizational and environmental management skills supports not only independence but also self-regulation. Using consistent routines helps our students with regulation challenges by providing a sense of predictability and control. I use speech bins to structure my sessions in a way that is visual and consistent. It is important for consistency and predictability purposes that you always complete all three bins, even if you only spend one-minute or complete one trial on one of the activities.

Image of speech bins (three-drawer black Sterilite container on wheels) to the right of the bookshelf.

For my preschool students and early communicators, I have labeled each bin with a picture of a numbered shape. During the session, I give the student(s) the appropriate image, and they match it to the coordinating image on the proper bin. Using this system provides autonomy within the session and a quick movement break. I use the phrase “1-2-3-Play” to support the students in understanding our schedule. You can find a free download of the basic speech bin labels, speech bin schedule reminder visual, and editable digital speech bins template I use in the Freebie Library.

Image of speech bin routine visual for preschoolers and early communicators. Shows three speech bin labels followed by an image representing play.

Adapting to COVID

In the spring, when I first switched to teletherapy, I continued to use my speech bins to structure my sessions. I relocated my plastic bins to my new bedroom office. I would show the label, place it on the bin, and then pull out the activity. As I transitioned to using more digital activities I created a simple editable, digital speech bin template on Google Slides. I have included access to a copy of the editable, digital speech bins template in the freebie library. I paste pictures or screenshots of the activities I have planned into the boxes on the template and check each activity off as we complete it. Because the speech bins are hosted on Google Slides, you can duplicate the “schedule” as many times as you need and make small adjustments to plan ahead for all of your students.

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