Students Learn Social Skills Through Video Modeling

Many students with special needs struggle to understand social interactions. Students with autism spectrum disorders, Down’s Syndrome and other conditions find it difficult to read others’ emotions and respond appropriately in social situations.

Unlike other learning challenges, students cannot simply find a new strategy to achieve success. Instead, the need to see what they’re doing, understand why it doesn’t work and practice better ways of managing those situations. They then need to see themselves engaging in proper social behaviors to cement this change in their brains and ensure consistency moving forward.

This type of behavior medication is quite successful helping students with social behavior challenges learn appropriate responses.

LCEF Grant Brings Video to Lake Dallas Special Education

No one understand the social challenges faced by students with autism spectrum disorders and Down’s Syndrome better than Dr. Gwen Carter, Dr. Vicki Hainlen and their intern Kathy Schaeffer. To provide much needed video modeling and the ability to deconstruct signals and response, this team applied to LCEF for a grant.

With the nearly $3,000 they received, they’ve created a Video Self-Modeling and Social Autopsy program for students receiving Lake Dallas ISD special education services. The program involves students making videos of themselves in social situations they normally find challenging. Using these videos as a reference point, teachers will help each student learn what he or she could have done differently in the situation. Repeated videos in the same situation will help students see their own progress, preventing discouragement.

The term “social autopsy” is the name given to the process of looking at the self-modeling videos and deconstructing behaviors in order to form new ones. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a movie is worth ten thousand. For students struggling to understand appropriate social behaviors, this program is priceless.

We’ proud to have funded this life-changing program that will help so many Dallas students.