Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 51

AUTISM THERAPY 3. Instruct your child to take one bite of his/ her food and place it on the plate in front of him/her. Make sure the child takes a rea- sonably sized bite and chews thoroughly before swallowing. It may take a few tries to get this right, depending on your child’s usual eating habits. Video-record him/her doing this (but don’t record your instruc- tions) with your smartphone or tablet. 4. Tell your child to take a sip of his/her drink and place it down in front of him/her. Vid- eo-record this, but do not record your in- struction. 5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 a few times. 6. Edit the video to show your child taking a bite of food, placing it down, chewing, swallowing, and then taking a sip of a drink. Show this sequence several times on the fi- nal video. The final pace shown on the vid- eo should be the pace at which you want your child to now eat. The editing can be completed using free editing software such as iMovie or KineMaster. 7. Start and end the video with an image of your child smiling or looking happy. 8. At the beginning of the video, say some- thing like, “This is Patrick eating slowly and carefully.” 9. End the video by saying something like, “Fantastic job eating slowly and carefully, Patrick!” 10. Show the final video to your child every day or two and compliment him/her when the child eats slowly and carefully (“Great job eating slowly and carefully, Patrick”). 11. Once your child is consistently eating slowly and carefully, you can show the video once or twice per week for two weeks, then once per week, and then stop showing it altogeth- er. If your child starts to gobble food again in the future, you can start showing the video every day or two again for a few weeks. Remember, you should adapt these instructions to adjust to your child’s specific challenges. You can also tell your child’s school system that you want them to use video self-modeling to teach your child in school. Every professional working with your child can use video self-modeling to help your child reach his/her goals. VSM is a very effective tool that positively shows your child’s brain exactly what to do. In the next article in this series, we will focus on using VSM to teach your child to use self-help skills at home, like brushing his/ her teeth and getting dressed. Until then, happy re- cording! Melissa M. Root, PhD, is president and founder of Root Success Solutions TM LLC and a certified school psychologist in Connecticut. Dr. Root is a coauthor of Picture Perfect: Video Self-Modeling for Behav- ior Change, available from Pacific Northwest Pub- lishing and through her website. Dr. Root offers a professional certificate in video self-modeling and trains families and professionals on how to use the technique. She presents internationally on video self-modeling as an effective tool for positive be- havior change. Website: Email: Autism Parenting Magazine | Issue 74 | 51