Video Modeling

Video Modeling
by Jennie Marble, MA CCC-SLP Director, JCFS Integrated Pediatric Therapies

One way we learn is by watching others. A way to enhance skills is by positive reinforcement that leads to repeating an action. Some individuals think in pictures. These reasons make video modeling an enticing way to learn. Video modeling can be used to increase social skills, learn new motor tasks, increase length of utterance, decrease negative behaviors, and improve self-efficacy. Praise the good and the good gets better.

Motor imaging is often used by physical and occupational therapists. Motor imaging focuses on the goal mentally to develop an image of success. Video modeling primes the individual in a similar way. Mirror neurons allow us to learn through imitation, which applies directly to watching functional videos.

With technology today, you can easily use software already on your phone or tablet to make videos that will benefit your child (or person). What a huge impact you can have for your person, and it’s currently in your hand!

Point of View Modeling

This type of video is in essence a bird’s eye view. The video is from the perspective of the learner and cuts out all environmental distractions. There are many examples of first-person point of view modeling on YouTube. If you need to make your own video:

  • Set up an activity or scenario
  • Place the recording device in a location that mimics your eyesight view


This type of video shows the child engaging in a successful skill that is either new or early emerging. Positive self-review videos reinforce a known skill.

  • Include the individual, if possible, in planning out your video. Use a storyboard to create your scenes.
  • Start and end the video to draw attention to the skill and end with lots of praise: “Here’s Jennie talking nicely with her friends. Here’s Jennie tying her shoe. Wow, that was Jennie playing nicely with her friends, yay!”
  • Use background music to edit out environmental noises.
  • Take raw video and edit down or roll play and edit out your prompts.

This information is based on research by Tom Buggey, PhD and from the presentation Using Self-Modeling Intervention; part of the ASHA online series “Communication Interventions for Adolescents and Adults with Autism.”