The Value of Videos

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By Ellen Doman

As we increase the number of Skype evaluations that we do and continue to request

videos through our coaching program, we need to look at why we are doing videos and

how to make the most of these opportunities.

As evaluators we have a perspective regarding your child based on our own

observations in evaluations, your written reports, your verbal reports, and feedback that

we get from the coaches. Although this can be quite a bit of information, we can really

never have too much information about how your child functions or how you function

with your child.

Videos allow us to look into the child’s life at home, which is frequently quite different

from the child’s behavior in evaluations. The behaviors that parents often describe, but

we never see, can be captured on video. The speech that the child may be too shy to

show in an evaluation can be shown on a video. How the child follows directions in the

home environment versus in an evaluation can be shown on video.

We also get to see the parent or the caregiver interacting with the child doing program

activities as well as other activities. So we get to see firsthand how the child is

responding and the nuances of these interactions. If a program activity isn’t working as

well as expected, we can often see exactly why that is happening. So this information

becomes extremely valuable in adjusting the program and gaining progress.

For Skype evaluations you will be given directions on what to capture on video. Coaches

will also ask you to video specific activities so that they can ensure that they are being

done properly. In addition to these two opportunities, you can send us video clips

through emails to explain a problem, show progress, or request clarification on an

activity or request an explanation of a behavior. Again, a video clip can provide a clear

indication of a problem, of progress, or of a behavior. This allows the evaluator to

rapidly assess what is happening and make specific targeted recommendations to best

respond.

Allow your child to become accustomed to being videotaped by taping both important

activities and trivial activities. We don’t want camera shy children. So video things that

are not going to be sent to us just to practice capturing things on camera and to get

everyone accustomed to the process. Allow yourself multiple opportunities to capture

the content you need. You want to capture material that is representative of what your

child is doing. Children are somewhat unpredictable in their performance, so allow more

than one day to capture the video you will use. Don’t make a big deal about recording

your child, or their behavior will be different than it typically is. We want to see what is

typical.

Video and Skype allow us to gather valuable information that we could not retrieve by

any other means short of spending large amounts of time in your home. Do not allow

this opportunity to be missed. Capture your child doing program, conversing with you,

and interacting with others. We will respond with a better understanding of your reality

at home. This will produce more efficient and effective programs which saves you time

and results in improved progress.

NACD Newsletter 2013 Volume 6, Issue 1