Autism and video. Video cameras are plentiful now. Do you use yours? What for?
Video is more than entertainment
In the old days, video (or the home movie) was basically used for entertainment and something to record our memories. Today, it can be used as an extremely valuable teaching tool.
Here’s what the research says
There have been a number of studies conducted to investigate the possibilities of using video with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Here is what they found.
- Video can be used successfully to teach appropriate behavior. Videos were created to demonstrate correct behavior. After watching the correct behavior on the video, students began using that correct behavior.
- Students can learn appropriate play skills from watching videos of those skills,
If you record two people “playing tea party,” the student will begin to imitate that play behavior after watching for a while. The good news is that the people in the video can be any age. They don’t have to be the age of the student who is watching. That makes creating videos much easier.
- You can use video to teach tasks. Recording a “How To” video to teach a specific task was successful. The students learned to do the task correctly from watching the video.
But wait. . .there’s more. . .
People at my workshops have shared ways they have used video successfully.
- The student was going to attend a new school. Mom took him a few days early with a video camera. They recorded walking the halls from class to class, opening the locker and assorted other things he would need to do when school was in session. He watched the video at home to prepare for the first real day of school when students would be there.
- The class was going on a training trip to a new location they had never visited before. The teacher went there before the class trip and made a video of what they would see when they got there. She showed the video to the class before the trip to help them get ready for the new adventure. Think about the language learning that can take place by watching the video before and after the trip.
- A child needed to learn to put her own jacket on. The teacher wanted to teach the system where the child lays the jacket on the floor upside down, put arms in and flip over your head. She made a video of another child performing that task and showed it to the student who needed to learn. After watching one time, the task was learned.
What are the possibilities?
This is just a short list of the skills that can be taught with video. There are lots more. The good news is that the research says students can learn skills and imitate behaviors that they have watched on video.
And why does video work?
Well, it is VISUAL. That means it taps into the learning strengths of the students we are trying to teach. The power of video is the power of repeat. Students can watch over and over until they really grasp the content.
This is just the tip of the iceberg
I believe there’s a wealth of potential with those cameras on the phones. Think about teaching new skills and routines, managing behavior challenges or mastering appropriate social skills via video.
Video will get you through the holidays
Using video is just one essential that can help create successful experiences during holidays and special events. And keep in mind that special events happen all year round. It’s not just Christmas and Halloween.
Check out this learning opportunity. You’ll benefit from the strategies you’ll learn. The information will help you manage all of those special events on your calendar in ways that are “autism friendly.”