Skip to main content

Modeling (MD)

Modeling is the demonstration of a desired target behavior that results in imitation of the behavior by the learner and that leads to the acquisition of the imitated behavior. This EBP is often combined with other strategies such as prompting and reinforcement.


Modeling (MD) occurs when an individual demonstrates a skill or exhibits a behavior after observing it from a performance by a model. Modeling is often referred to as in vivo or live modeling, to differentiate it from video modeling.

MD meets evidence-based criteria with 1 group design and 4 single-case design studies. According to the evidence-based studies, this intervention has been effective for toddlers (0–2 years) to young adults (19–22 years) with ASD. MD can be used effectively to address social, communication, joint attention, play, school-readiness, academic, and vocational skills.

Brief Adapted from

Cox, A. W. (2013) Modeling fact sheet. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Ages (yrs) Skills Settings Outcome
0-22 years Social, communication, joint attention, play, sensory and emotional regulation, school readiness, academic, vocational Home, school, community
*The information found in the Research Summary table is updated yearly following a literature review of new research and this age range reflects information from this review.

Outcomes:     Evidence-based     Emerging     No evidence     Comprehensive

Steps for Implementation


Download PDF