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Children on the Autism spectrum are naturally attracted to video and visual inputs.  According to the studies done by Corbrett & Abdullah (2005), video modeling is a “natural choice as an intervention tool” based on some key characteristics of children who are on the spectrum:

  • Selective attention

  • Restrictive field of focus

  • Preference for visual stimuli

  • Visually cued instruction

  • Avoidance of face-to-face interaction

  • Ability to process visual information more readily than verbal communication

What is video modeling? Video modeling is an interactive, visual way to learn social skills.  The students watch a video demonstrating appropriate examples and non-examples of the behavior they are learning. The visual structure of this teaching tool allows the student to view the target behavior, appropriate social communication, and functional skill(s) simultaneously. Videos may be viewed repeatedly to demonstrate the target skill.


Video modeling is evidence based and continues to be an efficacious medium for learning social skills. Studies show that video modeling significantly lowers the need for prompting and reinforcement, which allows them to learn the skill faster (Corbett & Abdullah, 2005). According to a meta-analysis of 23 studies published between 1987 and 2005, Bellini and Akullian (2007) concluded, “video modeling is an effective intervention strategy for addressing skills important to self-determination for students with ASD, including behavioral functioning, social-communication skills and functional skills. As would be expected according to Bandura’s theory of modeling, students performed best when they were highly motivated and attentive because they enjoyed watching the videos.” 

The following is a list of other specific benefits of BASE’s video modeling feature:

  • The target skill, its functionality, and its role in social communication are all displayed simultaneously

  • Videos are fun and easy to use

  • Videos display common social interactions to support the student’s learning in natural environment

  • All actors are age appropriate peers, thus they will be engaged while watching, and they learn age appropriate behavior



  • The student watches the video model demonstrating the skill/skills each day of social skills instruction

  • After watching the videos, the students begin to imitate skills from the video through direct coaching and practice

The student then begins to utilize that skill in his or her natural environment. The teacher records the student utilizing the skill, then the students are able to watch the video of them demonstrating the skill, and they are able to perfect their behavior after they watch.

Video Modeling Sample: TOPS

"Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action."
-Albert Bandura

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