Video modelling is a method of teaching in which an individual learns a behaviour or a skill by watching a video recording of someone (the model) demonstrating that behaviour or skill.
The model can be someone else (such as a parent or teacher, a peer or sibling) or it can be the individual himself (when the process is called video self-modelling).
The video is edited to show the model demonstrating the correct way to behave in specific situations, such as how to engage in conversation with other people.
The supporters of video modelling claim that it has been used to teach a wide variety of social and functional skills, such as how to interact with other people or how to buy things. They also claim that video modelling can be used to teach an individual how to apply previously learnt behaviours and skills in new settings.
Video modelling is sometimes used alongside other behavioural techniques or as part of other interventions, such as social stories or visual schedules
There is a small amount of high quality research evidence (one small randomised controlled trial and one small controlled trial) on the use of video modelling as an intervention for children on the autism spectrum but the results of that research are mixed.
There is a considerable amount of low quality evidence (more than 70 single-case design studies with three or more participants) which suggests that video modelling may be an effective way to teach some children on the autism spectrum a variety of different behaviours and skills in a variety of contexts.
There is insufficient evidence to determine if video modelling is an effective way to teach adults on the autism spectrum any behaviours or skills.
We believe that video modeling may be a useful intervention for some people on the autism spectrum but more research is required. That research should use more scientifically robust, experimental methodologies with larger numbers of participants. It should also aim to identify which elements in video modelling, if any, are effective for teaching skills to different groups on the autism spectrum.
Please read our Disclaimer on Autism Interventions