Modelling as a teaching method for teenagers with autism

The Power of Modelling: 10 Advantages When Working with Teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Modelling, is a powerful teaching technique where an adult or peer demonstrates a particular behavior or skill for a child to imitate.  It is an invaluable tool when working with teenagers on the autism spectrum. Because the method offers numerous advantages in supporting their growth and development.

What are the 10 Advantages or benefits of using modelling as a strategy for teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

  1. Autistic teenagers often excel in visual learning. Modelling provides a clear, visual representation of desired behaviours, making it easier for the teen to understand and replicate actions and social skills.
  2. Modelling offers concrete and tangible examples of appropriate behaviours and responses to various situations, helping teenagers with ASD comprehend abstract social concepts better.
  3. Teenagers with Autism often struggle with social interactions. Modelling can illustrate how to initiate conversations, maintain eye contact, or interpret nonverbal cues, fostering the development of essential social skills.
  4. Modelling provides a consistent and structured approach to teaching, reducing confusion and promoting a clear understanding of what is expected in specific situations.
  5. The predictability of modelling can reduce anxiety levels in autistic teenagers by showing them how to navigate unfamiliar or challenging situations, thus enhancing their self-confidence.
  6. Modelling encourages the development of imitation skills, a crucial component of learning. Autistic teenagers can learn by copying the behaviours and actions demonstrated to them.
  7. Modelling often occurs in natural, everyday settings, making it an effective way to teach real-life skills that can be immediately applied in various situations.
  8. It can be tailored to each teenager’s specific needs and challenges. By customizing demonstrations, educators and caregivers can address the unique requirements of each teenager.
  9. Through modelling, autistic teenagers can learn self-help and life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, or personal hygiene, which contribute to greater independence and self-sufficiency.
  10. When modelling results in successful imitation and positive outcomes, it reinforces the learning process and motivates teenagers with ASD to continue acquiring new skills and behaviours.

Not enough is written about the power of “modelling” in autism education! It truly is a highly effective and adaptable strategy when working with teenagers on the autism spectrum.

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Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.