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What is Video Modeling?

Donna S. Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP

July 12, 2021



What is video modeling and how it is used in intervention?


Video modeling is an evidence-based practice that uses a video model to teach a targeted skill or to model appropriate behavior. The “performer” in the video may be the individual who is targeted to learn the skill or appropriate behavior, or it may be an “actor” modeling what is to be taught. There are quite a few benefits of using the video modeling technique.

  • Treatment integrity – video modeling can be done by support staff who may not be highly trained with a high level of fidelity to what you want to highlight or teach.
  • Produced videos can be used with several students working on the same targets.
  • Videos can be produced in natural settings where it might be difficult to teach skills.
  • Video modeling is a non-intrusive technique.
  • Some situations do not allow for enough natural opportunities for the individual to learn the skill.
  • Video modeling may reduce the risk of prompt dependence. 
  • Video modeling capitalizes on Gestalt processing.

To create a successful video for video modeling, first identify a specific behavior or target. Be sure to target only one behavior or target per video (i.e. greeting peers). Develop a written activity plan which will highlight the targeted objective including a script. Pair the video with visual supports (script, social story, pictures, etc.) to underscore the salient information presented in the video clip. Review visual supports prior to viewing the video. View the video daily (more frequently if the student enjoys watching it).

As the video is weaned, the visual supports can be transitioned to support a student through the skill in increasingly natural situations (rehearsal, or to view prior to situations where the sill may be likely to occur).

Refer to the SpeechPathology.com course, 20Q: Social Communication Disorder, for more information on social communication disorder (SCD) including common characteristics, methods for evaluation, differential diagnosis from autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and evidence-based interventions.


donna s murray

Donna S. Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP

Donna Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP, is the Vice President of Clinical Programs at Autism Speaks and Adjunct Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  An autism clinician and researcher, Dr. Murray joined Autism Speaks in 2013 and oversees the activities of the Autism Care Network, an autism learning health system, specializing in the development and dissemination of evidence-based protocols and standards of care to improve outcomes for all children with autism. Prior to joining Autism Speaks, Dr. Murray served as Director of Clinical Services for the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and the Co-Director of its Kelly O’Leary Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Murray has spent more than 30 years as a clinician specializing in program development, diagnosis, and treatment of individuals with autism. Her research includes studies examining language, social skills, diagnosis, and the impact of co-occurring conditions in autism. She has numerous publications on the diagnosis and treatment of autism and its related physical and mental health conditions. Dr. Murray’s current focus includes using quality-improvement science and research to improve clinical care and outcomes for children with autism and emphasizes the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based, best-practice findings.

Related Courses

20Q: Social Communication Disorder
Presented by Donna S. Murray, PhD, CCC-SLP


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This course provides an overview of Social Communication Disorder (SCD). Topics reviewed include common characteristics, methods for evaluation, differential diagnosis from autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and evidence-based interventions.

20Q: Understanding Sensory Integration and Processing
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Sensory integration and processing is foundational to human development, engagement and relationships. This course will discuss theories of sensory processing function and dysfunction, potential impact on communication skills, and considerations for SLPs' therapeutic practice.

A Practical Treatment Approach for Students with Social Communication Disorders in Schools, Part 1
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This is Part 1 of a two-part series. This course helped SLPs build a repertoire of social communication intervention strategies and improve functional outcomes with evidence-based treatment plans for students Pre-K to 6th grade. Individual case studies will demonstrate how social communication disorders present in a variety of diagnostic categories. Practical tools for treatment from the therapy room to the classroom - including collaboration with other professionals - will be discussed.

A Practical Treatment Approach for Students with Social Communication Disorders in Schools, Part 2
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This Part 2 of a 2-part series focused on functional social communication intervention for grades 7 thru 12 into adulthood. Treatment plans and case studies are presented to highlight techniques for engaging teens & adults in therapy, tips for extending social communication strategies into the classroom, and methods for helping adults overcome social anxiety.

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Presented by Lisa R. Audet, PhD, CCC-SLP


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