Videos are a good way to motivate your child on the spectrum to learn and follow instructions. Almost everyone has a smart phone, camera, or video recorder; many use the same devise for all three functions. These can be valuable learning tools. Here are a few ways you can use videos to motivate and teach your child with autism.
1. Use videos as a Reward – Videos are a great alternative to rewarding child on the spectrum with food or toys. Videos aren’t high in calories like food. Videos last a specific amount of time so you don’t have to remove a reward, and videos can be readily available on an adult’s phone or other device. Just like adults, children have individual interests and motivators. Find videos that peek your child’s interests or have fun creating videos of your own. If a child is learning a new skill they may be very motivated by someone filming them counting to ten correctly, folding their own clothes, or saying hello to a neighbor.
2. Use Videos to Prepare for New Situations – When your child on the spectrum is about to go to a new school or enter a new classroom; go to camp, or go to places in the community can make them nervous videos can be useful tools. Use videos of new places and new people to prepare your child for changes or new activities. Review these videos regularly.
3. Use Videos to Learn New Functional Skills – Videos can be used to teach your child on the spectrum how to complete new skills. Create videos at home with parents, siblings, friends, and your child’s peers that shows them completing the required skill. When creating a video, break a skill into small steps (e.g. brushing teeth requires opening the toothpaste, getting the tooth brush, putting tooth paste on the toothbrush, etc.) and show each step performed correctly. Your child can watch these video before they practice the activity.
4. Demonstrating Social Skills – In the same way other new skills can be taught, social skills can be demonstrated with videos. Breaking skills into steps and teaching specific responses is one way to teach greetings, good-byes, and other interactions. Videos also can be used to discuss and role play responses to different situations.
Have fun with the use of videos, watch them with your child, help your child create videos of their own and enjoy the learning and discovering process with them.