Video Modeling: A Window into the World of Autism


Blythe A Corbett


Video modeling is a well-validated behavioral intervention documented in the behavioral sciences. The methodology appears particularly beneficial for children with autism. The underlying theoreticalexplanations are posited and discussed. A single case study is presented using video modeling to improve the perception of emotion in a child with autism and mild mental retardation. The subject was shown a series of video tapes of typically developing children engaged in a variety of play and social scenarios showing four basic emotions: happy, sad, angry and afraid. The preliminary results, based on behavioral and neuropsychological data, demonstrated video modeling to be an efficacious intervention for the attainment and generalization of emotion perception. The acquisition of skills using video modeling is often very rapid compared to other methods of intervention and requires limited time and personal resources toimplement. The skill is then maintained with careful behavioral programming, which includes stable attainment of mastery and built-in generalization conditions (e.g., multiple exemplars). Further, videomodeling appears to be particularly useful in eliciting generalized responses across behaviors and stimuli that is corroborated by improvement on neuropsychological instruments. Implications for current and future research are discussed.