Friday, April 27, 2012

April 2012 Newsletter

We're wrapping up our series on video modeling this month. I hope you've enjoyed learning more about this intervention.

Here is a summary of this month's articles:

Video Modeling: A Parent’s Perspective -

Video Modeling Survey Results -

Video Modeling Tips -

New Free Download: Spring Train Stories! -

Video Modeling Sample Behavior Plan -

New free download! Letter Assessment (Train Theme) -

Video Modeling Books -

Video Modeling Links -

April Positive Autism News -

April Positive Autism News

Project highlights talents of kids with autism
April 20, 2012

Eisele Gallery to host an exhibit by autistic artist
April 19, 2012

'She's evolving as an artist, growing as an artist'
April 19, 2012

Autistic Cheerleader Jessica McCartney Learns Life Skills On Squad
April 16, 2012

Sunday, April 22, 2012

New free download! Letter Assessment (Train Theme)

A fun way to teach or assess letter names or sounds. Includes an assessment data sheet to record correct and incorrect responses. recommends...

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Video Modeling Tips

Here's a list of tips for video modeling from Positively Autism's newsletter subscribers:

Video Modeling is helpful if a student enjoys seeing himself or herself on pictures or video.

Video Modeling can be used to teach a wide variety of skills.

Before using, assess a person's ability to imitate. If the student has difficulty imitating motor or vocal skills, video modeling may not be as helpful.

Make the videos short (1-3 minutes).

Choose one specific skill per video.

Edit out any teacher prompts from the video so the student only sees the skill being performed correctly.

Provide multiple opportunities to watch the video and practice.

Certain equipment, such as a microphone or photo editing program, may be helpful.

Use professionally made DVDs.

Pay attention to both the speed and amount of spoken language in the video.

Only show videos of the appropriate behaviors (the behaviors you want the student to do).

Make the videos fun and appropriate to the child's needs.

Praise the student in the video recording.

Use role play to practice the behavior after viewing the video.

Videos can be made quickly and easily with a digital camera or phone camera and watched immediately on those devices.

Get the child used to seeing a camera in the room before you video tape the target skills.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Video Modeling Survey Results

I sent out a survey to all of our newsletter subscribers asking for information on how they use video modeling. We received 14 responses. Typically, our surveys receive many more responses, so I'm wondering if video modeling is not commonly used yet.

The results of the survey are below, but please keep in mind that there were only 14 responses, so this may limit how representative the data are. Still, I hope that it provides you all with some information about how video modeling is currently being used for students with autism.

Age of Students That Video Modeling Is Used With:

Diagnosis of Students Video Modeling Is Used With:

Were You Satisfied with Video Modeling?

What Skills Was Video Modeling Used to Teach?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Video Modeling: A Parent’s Perspective

By Mary Beth Palo

Video Modeling is a scientifically proven method of teaching and has been approved by the CEC (Council for Exceptional Children).  Studies have been around for many years, but video modeling seems to have just recently surfaced into the mainstream.

I made my own video modeling about 10 years ago having no idea of how effective it was.  I made videos out of pure desperation to teach my autistic child.

Video Modeling provides so many lessons, moments, pictures, cues and more.  These visuals simply cannot be replicated in one on one teaching to the extent the teaching can be done in video.  VM provides repetition without needing a teacher.  There are no distracters in VM – no one to attend to – no demands being placed on you and no actions needed.  VM is simply watching.   Most children with autism are visual learners; which explains the attraction and success.

 Autistic children can and do learn skills through one on one teaching.  Many times these skills acquired tend to be robotic and are not easily generalized.  A one on one setting is not real life.  Proper VM can provide more than skill generation, but also a stepping stone to generalization along with social skill teaching.  As a simple example, a video can show 2 children doing a puzzle.  So, they are learning an academic skill of doing a puzzle, while at the same time, taking turns, sharing, social initiation and talking if able.  Another example of a video is of 2 children playing catch.  The children are learning the gross motor skills of catching and throwing, following directions, language skills and appropriate timing of employing language such as “throw it”, “catch it”, “over here”, “nice catch”, etc….  You can see that the opportunities of providing video of real life can be much more inclusive than one on one skill teaching.  And again, the repetition of a video is key! 

Once skills are obtained, generalization easily occurs by setting up a scene as shown in the movie, mimicking the scene and then beginning to change the environment of the scene.  As an example, child learns to build a sand castle from video.  Mimic the scene and build a sand castle.  Expand and begin to generalize by going to the park and build castle, take a child to play with and build castle, build castle at beach, have 3 or 4 children work together, etc…

Children love children!  Children learn through play and having fun.  This is what I have learned through the years and what I employ in my Watch Me Learn videos.  VM is super effective but can also be a lot of fun and a very diverse teaching tool.  Watch Me Learn has also been scientifically proven as a valid teaching tool.

Watch Me Learn teaches functional skills, play skills, social skills, language skills and much more.  These skills are embedded in a video of fun!  Children do not know they are learning – they think they are having fun watching kids play!  We are in the process of developing a curriculum and assessment in a sequential order of age acquired skills.  We also provide guidance as to how to use video modeling and how to build upon videos and generalize skills.

For more information on our videos, please visit   For information on guidance, please send us an email at or   The guidance is a new feature that we have added and we will be announcing upcoming webinars and active online sessions.  Our facebook page – we share updates, stories and you are welcome to share your stories and questions, experiences and anything else you would like.