Video prompting for vocational skills


SLPs supporting high school students with autism and/or intellectual disabilities know the importance of vocational skills. We know, too, that it’s critical to fade our support so that these students can be as independent as possible at their jobs. This article shows one possible method for doing so.

The authors used tablets* to provide four high school students with ASD and/or ID video prompting to complete a job task (setting up the school conference room for meetings). Instead of presenting the entire skill sequence at once like with video modeling, video prompting breaks down the skill sequence so that the viewer can watch one skill, perform that skill, and then repeat the process with the next skill.

Here’s how the prompting systems worked: Pictures and videos represented the tasks and “decision points” (i.e., Is the meeting today an IEP meeting—yes or no?). For each step in the sequence, students had the option to select a prompt or to complete the skill independently. Prompts could be pictures, text, sound clips, or videos, or a combination of these.

Students were briefly pre-trained on operating the tablets. All four students substantially increased their percentage of correct responses at the decision points. They also independently decreased their use of the prompts as they became more successful completing the skill sequence. Independently! What’s more, students and staff reported satisfaction with the devices and prompting systems.

Generalizing these findings is tough because of the small sample size, single skill addressed, and lack of information about skill maintenance. But, this study is worth checking out if you’re interested in trying a prompting system like this. Perhaps even more importantly, the authors designed the prompting systems with UDL in mind, and it definitely doesn’t hurt to increase our knowledge and skills in this area!

*iPads (Go Talk Now) and HP Slates (PowerPoint)


Laarhoven, T. V., Carreon, A., Bonneau, W., & Lagerhausen, A. (2018). Comparing Mobile Technologies for Teaching Vocational Skills to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and/or Intellectual Disabilities using Universally-Designed Prompting Systems. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s10803-018-3512-2