Article by Abby Twyman, M.Ed., BCBA
Many students with autism which I have worked with love music and dancing. There has been a lot of research conducted around the use of video modeling to teach a variety of skills. It seems to be a natural extension, then, that video modeling could be used to teach dance skills.
In a doctoral dissertation titled The Use of Video Prompting on the Acquisition, Maintenance, and Generalization of a Line Dance by Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Maria Louise Gies described the research she did using video modeling to teach a dance to 7 adolescents with autism. The students were able to learn, generalize and maintain their skills after training with the video. This was a great application of video modeling because she was able to teach a skill that is socially relevant and one that increases physical fitness.
The intervention consisted of the following steps:
- View video segment
- Attempt to imitate
- Error correction
- Maintenance checks
- Generalization checks
She found that all participants were able to learn the dance; they were also able to generalize their skills to different environments and with different dance partners. This research was yet another demonstration of the utility of video modeling in teaching skills to individuals with autism.