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Learning Components of Video Modeling

Heather Reffitt, MS, CCC-SLP

December 5, 2016



What are the four core learning components that video modeling targets?


Visual attention in individuals with autism varies from those of their typically developing peers.  Children with autism demonstrate reduced visual attention to relevant people and stimuli compared to their typical peers.  The inability to visually attend can obviously impact the effectiveness of therapy.

Research conducted by Cardon and Azum (2012) showed that a control group of typically developing peers as well as a group of children with autism gave longer attention to a video presentation of a puppet show compared to a live presentation of the same puppet show. Additionally, there was a marked increase in how long the children with autism looked at the video presentation versus the live presentation.

The video presentation captures children’s attention because video modeling targets four core learning components that are critical when working with a child with autism, especially when teaching play and language:

  • Attention – Oftentimes, just trying to gain the child’s attention can take a great deal of time. 
  • Retention – Once you have the child’s attention, they work on retaining the information and making sure they are giving just an echolalia response. 
  • Production – They have attended, they have retained the information given to them and now is the time for the child to do the task that you ask of them. 
  • Motivation – Children with autism need to be motivated just like anyone else.  The motivation of the iPad and the visual stimulation is enough to keep their attention. 

Heather Reffitt is a Level II Speech Language Pathologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  Her area of interest and expertise is working with families and children impacted by autism, apraxia, augmentative communication and early intervention needs.  

heather reffitt

Heather Reffitt, MS, CCC-SLP

Heather Reffitt is a Level II Speech Language Pathologist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  Her area of interest and expertise is working with families and children impacted by autism, apraxia, augmentative communication and early intervention needs.  Heather serves a caseload that is heavy with patients who require co-treatments and works closely with members of the Division of Occupational Therapy. Heather has been with the Division of Speech Pathology for 13 years. 

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