I was fortunate to work with Sarah Schflen, M.S., CCC-SLP for an Advance Magazine article on video modeling (http://speech-language-pathology audiology.advanceweb.com/Editorial/Content/Editorial.aspx?CC=187563) Basically, video modeling is used to show a desired behavior or skill to a child using an audiovisual medium. The child will start to imitate and learn from the model. Sarah presented her research at the 2008 ASHA Convention titled, Teaching Play, Language and Social Skills to Children with Autism: Techniques including Video Modeling. (http://convention.asha.org/handouts/1420_0944Scheflen_Sarah_126275_Nov19_2008_Time_034126AM.pdf).
Sarah has been highly advertised in the media because of her work with Jenny McCarthy’ son Evan. Sarah effectively used video modeling as part of Evan’s treatment plan. Jenny was so enthusiastic about Evan’s success with video modeling that she co-founded a company with Sarah called Teach2Talk.
Teach2Talk (teach2talk.com) is a company that has developed a series of DVD’s that are based on extensive research into video modeling. Teach2Talk DVD’s help children improve their vocabulary, language usage, comprehension, problem–solving abilities, imagination, social skills, play, and empathy toward others. Teach2Talk videos use real children instead of cartoons, to help children learn to relate to other children.
I was so excited to receive the full set of Teach2Talk DVD’s and immediately started using them as part of my treatment protocol. My caseload consists of K-4 school aged children exhibiting a variety of disorders including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Fragile X Syndrome, Down Syndrome, and language delays.
As you know, children love anything technology so it was easy to introduce the DVD’s to all of my students. For the language-delayed children, I explained that we would watch part of the DVD and then practice the skills we saw in the video. The children were so engaged as they watched the DVD’s (which included real children, puppets, toys, music, and lots of silly sounds). It was fun to watch their smiles and hear their laughter as they were learning about pronouns, questions, and conversational skills. After each activity, I paused the DVD and practiced what we had seen. It was easy for them to transition to and from the DVD.
I was a little more concerned about my ASD student’s due to their difficulty transitioning from the computer. I used the Teach2Play series starting with the Basic Play video. I used Boardmaker symbols to represent “computer” and “play” in a “first computer then play” approach. I thought it would take a few sessions for these children to understand the process, but to my amazement they easily were able to transition between “computer time” and “play time”.
As recommended, I downloaded a list of toys from the Teach2Talk website. I attempted to get similar toys to use with the children to model the play skills being introduced on the video. To my surprise, it did not matter if the toys were exactly the same as those seen on the video. My students used the toys successfully for each activity modeled. I used the first level, “Take Apart/Put Together” with two students simultaneously. Even though one of my students is on a slightly higher play level then the other student, it was a great session because it helped introduce video modeling and it provided a “real” model for my lower play level student.
The special education teacher that I work with was so excited about the potential of video modeling for our students that we decided to write a “Play Curriculum” to be used with the students as part of their program.
I appreciate all that I have learned about video modeling from Sarah. To actually use the Teach2Talk videos with my students has been incredible! I would highly recommend investigating video modeling for your students. Visit Teach2Talk.com for more information and to learn about the new Teach2Talk Academy!
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
TinyEYE Territory Manager
Mindy Hudon is a practicing speech and language pathologist and the mother of fraternal twin boys. She has been a Speech and Language Expert Advisor for iParenting. com Media/Walt Disney Internet Group for the past 10 years. Mindy has been published in numerous newsstand magazines including Twins Magazine, Women’s Health & Fitness, Family Energy and Baby Years, as well as on various websites