Autism Parenting Magazine Issue 74 (Member's Dashboard) - Page 50

AUTISM THERAPY In the case of learning helpful eating behaviors, your child will watch his/herself on video either eating a variety of foods or using appropriate table manners. Below are some general examples of how to create a VSM video to improve eating behaviors, but you can adjust these steps to match your child’s specific needs. How do I use video self-modeling to teach better eating habits to my child? Below are two examples of how to use VSM to help your child improve eating habits based on the ques- tions at the beginning of this article. Increase the variety of foods eaten If your child eats a very limited number of foods, this can limit his/her ability to socialize and impact nutri- tional health. You can address this problem by mak- ing a short, positive video using your smartphone or tablet. Here’s how: 1. Tell your child he/she is going to star in a movie you’re going to make. 2. Let your child know the movie will help him/ her eat more foods, which will make the body healthier and will help him/her make friends (think of all the social interactions that happen in a school cafeteria around trading foods—going to birthday parties is also easier when your child can eat the foods provided). 3. Using your smartphone or tablet, record your child chewing one of the foods he/she loves. Shoot this from a few different angles. 4. Record images of a variety of new foods on a plate. 5. Now ask your child to take one of the new foods and put it up to his/her mouth. The child does NOT have to put it into his/her mouth. If you can, show the child smiling or looking content as he/she is bringing the new food from the plate to the open mouth. Repeat this with several new foods. 6. Edit the video to show your child smiling, bringing a new food to his/her mouth, and chewing happily (remember, the chewing segment is actually a clip of him/her eating a favorite food, not a new food). Show this 50 | Autism Parenting Magazine | Issue 74 sequence with several new foods. Insert shots of the plate of new foods between each sequence. The editing can be complet- ed using free editing software such as iMov- ie or KineMaster. 7. Insert an image of your child looking happy at the beginning and end of your VSM vid- eo. 8. At the start of the video, say something like, “This is Colin eating new foods.” 9. At the end of the video, say something pos- itive like, “Great job trying new foods, Colin!” 10. During editing, remove any errors or images of your child frowning at the new foods. The final video should only show your child hap- pily bringing new foods to his/her mouth, chewing, and swallowing. 11. The final video should be between 30 and 60 seconds long. Show the video to your child every day or two and praise him/her every time a new food is tried. 12. Once your child is consistently trying new foods, you can show the video once or twice per week for two weeks or just stop showing it altogether. There are no hard and fast rules about when to stop showing the video, although your child may tire of watching the same video too often. If they tire watching the same video but still need the instruction, create a new video for the same behavior. Slow down your child’s eating If your child gobbles down his/her meals very quick- ly, this can pose a choking hazard and can also af- fect social opportunities. Meals are times to socialize with friends. Gobbling down food limits the length of the meal and the ability to talk in addition to cre- ating an unsightly mess. If this is a challenge for your child, below is how to make a video to help him/her quickly overcome it: 1. Tell your child you’re going to make a short movie of him/her and he/she will be the star. 2. Let him/her know the video will help ͱ)ݸѥݡݥȁ)ѡȁչѥ́Ѽ)ɥ̸