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5 Steps to Your Own Video Story

1- Choose the behavior or skill to teach. Start with one skill at a time.  Think about the most pressing need, whether that’s demonstrating cool hands, or using some form of communication to ask for something that is important to them.  There may be several skills that stand out as important, and that’s fine.  There…

Aggression

Taylor came to me as a seventh grader.  He introduced himself in this way – “I have Autism.  So don’t make me mad, cause when I get mad someone gets hurt.” No one had specifically told him this, but his own experience had taught him over and over again, so much so that it was…

Establishing the Shot

Turn down the volume and watch any movie from the golden age of Hollywood and you’ll see this simple narration over and over: Establishing shot of characters A and B, over the shoulder shot from A to B, switch to over the shoulder shot from B to A, close up on A, close up on…

Gift Giving Grace

For my family, gift-giving, even at Christmas and birthdays is a slow, ceremonial process where each person takes their turn.  It includes a lot of repetitious language such as “Ooooo…  A present for me?  Wow.  What pretty wrapping.  Save the paper.  What could this be?  Oh, Thank you.  How sweet!  This is perfect!”  For my…

Holiday Happiness

Holidays can be a stressful and challenging time for everyone, but especially for the family of a child with social, emotional, or behavioral challenges.  Video Stories can be a powerful way to help the unfamiliar become comfortable and the specific holiday behaviors and rituals become routine.  You can use the Video Story to be proactive…

Impulse Management

Lana is an adult with autism, nonverbal, who communicates through facilitated communication (a facilitator offering resistance by pushing back on her hand so that she can focus enough to point to a letter on a piece of paper).  There are many obstacles to her successful connection and communication.  There are also many behavioral indications that…

Love

I am in the process now of trying to create some Video Valentines with my son.  All month, we have been singing a love song that his preschool teacher is singing at school.  We sing it in the car and before bed.  Solomon has been filling in the names of the people he loves at…

My Own Voice

Even if your student is truly nonverbal and uses a communication device, a switch, a picture communication system, or eye gaze to communicate, you can employ this in the Video Stories.  The process of seeing themselves successfully communicating will likely create a dramatic increase the self-confidence, motivation, and initiation of their communication methods. Pamela communicated…

My Own Words

Ean is a fascinating, bright, and complicated individual with autism who loves to engage with his peers and teachers.  He is a comedian and is thrilled by the response he gets, whether positive or negative.  He was previously labeled “nonverbal” because he had very limited language.  He was echolalic, which means that he could repeat…

Peer Tutor and ParaProfessional Training

Sometimes the best ideas are shared by the participants in my presentations.   Today someone shared a great solution for the common challenge of reiterating the same important information again and again for peer tutors who come into the class throughout the year.  Why not present the information of peer tutor expectations and what you’re hoping…

Potty Time

The dreaded potty-training. Take a minute and think about the obstacle.  What is the primary variable that is interfering with your child’s progress in the potty process?  Is he disinterested?  Is he scared of the potty?  Does she want to keep clean?  Is he taking on your anxiety about the germs in the bathroom or…

Responsive

Play is supposed to be easy.  Sometimes it is so hard for us as parents and teachers to let go of the directive mindset and enter in to a quiet responsive place of play.  Dr. Jim has written a wonderfully inspiring and easy to read book called Play to Talk that I highly recommend.  In…

Seeing is Believing

“Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.”  Plato Each child has their own unique kind of brilliance.  It is our job as…

Show What You Know

I supported five students with autism in a general ed science class.  All of the students were bright enough to understand the material, but there were some obstacles that got in their way of being focused enough to absorb the information and express their comprehension of the material.   For some there were too many distractions…

Special Effects – The Giant

We all need more giants in our lives. They’re big. They eat oak trees like broccoli. And they can teach us valuable lessons about perspective, distance, gentleness, and sharing. That being said, if we’re going to bring a giant into our Video Story, we need to establish some rules. Directors tell your giant they need…

Star of the Show

Erik gave us a run for our money, quite literally.  He would run outside and inspect the sprinkler heads to make sure there was no dirt on them, not because he was really that fascinated with sprinkler heads, but because he enjoyed the thrill of running the show, being the center of attention, and essentially…

Starting the Year Right

The beginning of the school year fills us all (parents, teachers, and students alike) with anxiety and excitement.  We all come at the new year with lots of expectations. That first day can be an adventure as we try to teach classroom rules and routines. Video Stories are a great way to start everyone off…

The Screening

A great deal of the excitement surrounding the creation of the Video Story is wrapped up in the presentation.  The enthusiasm of the cinematographer in capturing the perfect moment can be immediately shared with the actors.  It helps not to wait to get excited.  So many times during the filming process, I shriek and jump…

Time for Work

So often we spend a great deal of time and energy creating the visual schedules and behavior reinforcement charts, ruining scissors and fingernails with the Velcro and interfering with quality family time to get the icons just right.  Then we present the visual chart to the student with tons of verbal language, showing off our…

Updating Video Stories to account for Progress

I am grateful to report that I have had to update some Video Stories for my son recently because he has made quite a bit of progress with his articulation.  A few days ago, when he was watching his Video Stories on the iPad, I was listening while I was driving, and I realized I…

What Camera should I use?

Whatever digital camcorder you have access to will work.  You may needs to take some time figuring out the logistics of getting the video files on your computer and importing them into your editing software.  Unfortunately there are some issues with the camcorder and the computer editing software getting along, but in most cases this…

Whatever It Takes

Some of you may wonder how we are able to get the students to demonstrate new skills that they didn’t have before.  If this is a skill they are lacking, how do we get them to demonstrate the skill? First of all, I start with one skill at a time.  I think about the most…

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