Why I love VSM

I have been a Teacher for 20 years and have taught Special Education in a Special Development school for 8 years. Several years ago I found myself the teacher of a very challenging classroom. I had students with high sensory needs, challenging behaviors, absconding habits, very low communication skills and very low social skills. I hit that hard spot in teaching where I started seriously looking into a new career and turning up for work was a big challenge. I felt like I didn't have enough strategies to teach this group and began desperately looking for a new way to teach.
I didn't have to look far because my husband Shane Spence had started talking about a new idea he'd read about and was beginning to use on his meTV program. Yes, Video Self Modeling. I looked up Dr. Tom Bugey's work and started exploring what all the fuss was about.
Captivated by the data and alleged success stories I began reading research and watching samples that Dr. Buggey produced. I couId not believe that what I was reading could possibly be true. If I made a short video to teach a new skill and made it look like it was really happening, that my very non-compliant, difficult students would change their behaviour! I truly felt inspired to get back to my classroom after the Easter holidays to try out my first VSM on my students. With i-Pad in hand I started filming and creatively editing.
My first VSM was such a huge success. I taught a boy who could barely be understood to speak clearly! He made over 30 clear requests in the first day after watching his VSM. I then taught an autistic boy who had no speech and no way to say YES or NO, to nod his head for YES. For the first time in his life he could make a choice! 
I was totally convinced this was real and proceeded to make over 40 VSM's that year. My unruly class transformed. They watched group VPM'S (Video Peer Models) of themselves to learn group activities like lining up, sitting in chairs as a group, walking together around the school, packing up toys, eating meals together and how to unpack school bags. All activities that were previously mild disasters every day. By editing out unwanted behaviors and only showing the behaviors I wanted I was able to teach skills unimaginable one term earlier.
 I felt like I had stumbled on to a genius secret, and wanted to tell anyone who would listen what is possible with VSM. I am now passionately teaching teachers, parents, Education Support staff, Therapists and Disability workers how and why to use VSM with students and clients with special needs. I have trained over 30 Victorian, S.A. and ACT Schools and Organisations in VSM. 
This strategy is so simple, quick, easy to make and extremely effective. I know It sounds too good to be true. And if it's SO good why doesn't everybody know about it and use it? Yes. I Agree ! Which is exactly why I'm here! 
When made well and pitched correctly VSM will in 80 % of cases be effective in the first 3 views. That's amazing. The other good news is that skills taught with VSM are generally well generalized and the skill retention is high. That means that a new skill taught stays with the learner, and is carried out in other settings. This is what the research supports and it is what I have found to be true. I have worked now with many more students and classes, and continue to achieve amazing results. VSM is a particularly successful strategy for people with Autism.
I want ALL teachers to know about this, and I want ALL parents living with and loving a child with Special needs or challenging behaviors to know how to make VSM's themselves for their home life. I want ALL Teaching students in Universities to graduate knowing about this, and I want all Adult Disability placement services and housing units to use VSM to teach young adults life skills and independent living skills.  I want all Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Music Therapists to understand how transforming and effective it can be to use VSM in their work. 
It's easy. It works and it makes kids feel success which makes them feel GOOD!  I love that. 

About Anthea Naylor

Anthea has many years of experience in teaching both secondary, primary levels in both mainstream, independent and special education settings. She holds a Masters of Education from Deakin University in Special Education and Advanced Certificate in Autism- from ACU. Anthea has broad experience working with Autism, ADHD, cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities and developmental delays. 
Anthea is passionate about the use of video peer modelling (VPM) and video self modelling (VSM) and it’s benefits in engaging and transforming students, especially those with special needs, who are usually visual learners. Anthea trains both professionals and parents in the practical application of VSM as both a behaviour intervention and tool for teaching social and life skills..
Recent achievements include-
•2013 Runners Up- Primary Special Education Teacher of the Year -PASS Awards
Anthea's recent speaking events include:
  • 2015 -SWPBS Showcase- Melbourne- VSM and meTV trials in mainstream schools.
  • 2015- USA- Presented to Dr Robert Horner- PBIS- Positive Behaviour in Schools
  • 2014 Schools tech Oz Conference- Firbank, Victoria.
  • 2014 USA- Presented to world leading researchers of VSM  in USA including; Dr Tom Buggey, Dr Peter Dowrick, Dr Scott Bellini,        Dr Preston Lewis 
  • Invited Speaker 13th International APBS Conference San Francisco - Positive Behaviour Support and VSM (meTV)
  •  MAV Conference- March 2016
  • Sunshine Harvester Education Conference 2016
  • AASE /Conference- Melbourne 2016. Darwin 2017
  • Sessional lecturer- University of Melbourne -Education Faculty
  • Positive Schools Conference. Melbourne and Sydney 2017
Research Trials
  • 2013 - Classroom based discreet trials of VSM for individual students.
  • 2014 - School wide application of VSM trial in Special Education Setting
  • 2015 - VSM and School Based Television as an Intervention in PBIS in Mainsteam schools.- Pending Publication