Video modeling is an evidence-based therapy for people with autism. Sound complicated? If you have ever watched a cooking show on TV, then you have used video modeling…..learning by watching.
At the Autism Society of America annual conference, I learned how to use an iPad to teach social skills using video modeling.
There are many iPad apps that allow you to create social stories and movies to teach social skills using your own pictures, videos and voice. Apps like Story Kit, Puppet Pals, Strip Design, Model Me Kids, and Popplet are a few worth looking at. Go to YouTube where you can see demonstrations and reviews of these apps. Only you know what works best for your child, so apps mentioned here are only suggestions and not recommendations.
Also at YouTube, you can search for “social skills and video modeling.” You will find videos already made by other people that you can use for your child. I found videos on how to wash your hands, how to tie your shoes, how to greet someone, etc.
Another great way to use video modeling is with favorite TV shows. For example, you could use the cartoon movie “Wallace & Gromit.” Gromit is a very smart dog who doesn’t speak. You have to guess what he is thinking based on his facial expressions, his actions, and the things happening around him. Pause the video and ask your child what Gromit is thinking. This is a fun way to learn about other people’s thoughts and feelings.
There are also software products for teaching social skills. Social Skill Builder has a number of products for teaching social skills for all ages. You can also find Michelle Garcia Winner’s latest “Social Detective” software at Social Skill Builder. View the demonstrations of the products to determine if the software is a good fit for your child.
The apps for making social stories, comic strips and movies, are not only great for teaching, they are fun for kids to use because they can create things using their imagination and vocabulary.
For parents. an iPad and apps are great teaching tools. For kids, an iPad is just plain fun.
Written by Sheila Knapp
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