Capital Area IU 15: Better Behavior Interventions Through Video Technology

At Capital Area Intermediate Unit, a picture really is worth a thousand words. The IU is pioneering video technology to help teachers and families pinpoint the incidents that trigger problem behaviors in students with severe autism.

IU 15 is testing and expanding the use of Behavior Imaging to record and analyze student-teacher interaction. With the unique video buffering feature of the technology, teachers can identify the trigger leading to an unwanted behavior.

“It allows teachers to go back in time, watch the action, and see what was occurring,” said Mark Hennes, IU 15’s special projects supervisor. “Over time, they see patterns.”

Videos are then shared electronically, in compliance with all privacy laws, with IU consultants who can promptly discuss the situation with teachers. Instead of driving from district to district, where the IU sites many of its autism teachers, consultants save money and work more efficiently by analyzing videos remotely.

“They can respond in a more timely manner,” said Arlene Moll, IU15’s autism support supervisor. “We have had consultants pull their cars over to connect and watch video. It’s like a teacher 911.”

The combination of precision analysis and rapid response fosters improved intervention and treatment plans. Those carefully crafted plans help boost student performance and promote better classroom outcomes, said Moll.

Parents can also access the videos and work with teachers on techniques to use at home, said Moll. In one instance, video particularly helped non-English-speaking parents understand how they could help their child.
IU 15 is sharing best practices in Behavior Imaging with interested IUs statewide.

“Ideally, the goal is to return the student to the home school district, and the school district then mainstreams that child,” Moll said. “In the long term, it gets the student back to the community and back to their school district more quickly.”

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