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Getting Children with Autism to Communicate
Visual supports help to encourage positive behavior interactions with children with autism.
By Nicole Bovell Posted in Autism 0 Comments 3 min read
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There are many reasons to use visual supports for children with autism. Visual supports are pictures or other visual cues that help children who have difficulty communicating. Visual supports can be picture cards, objects, photographs or even words. Visual supports are used with children with autism as well as children with other disabilities. For this reason, they help children with autism specifically interact socially, use language appropriately and limit any repetitive behaviors. The following are 20+ reasons to use visual supports for children with autism:

  • Helps eliminate some behavior issues
  • Helps improve verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Teaches social skills (expectations)
  • Gains attention
  • Communicates classroom/school rules
  • Helps the child share information
  • Gives the child the ability to make a choice
  • Aids in the child’s handling change
  • Supports transitions
  • Helps communicate emotions
  • Helps teach routines
  • Helps teach new skills
  • Helps clarify verbal information
  • Helps children remain on task
  • Helps promote independence
  • Provides a concrete schedule
  • Eliminates unnecessary verbiage
  • Encourages peer interaction
  • Helps with organization of materials
  • Allows the child to share during group activities
  • Helps the child identify job tasks
  • Provides consistency across settings

It is important to note that when using visual supports, you want to teach your child how to use it first. Once you have taught them how and when to use it correctly, you can focus on being consistent with the parameters that you have set. Remember to focus on the task at hand and not any challenging behaviors that may arise. Once you have visual supports in place and you are using them consistently, they will help your child communicate more appropriately throughout the day.

Here are a few visual supports to help encourage positive behavior interactions with children with autism:

Language cards help build vocabulary and expressive and receptive language skills as well as improve communication skills.

Photo conversation cards also help to develop social and communication skills by givings children with autism the ability to learn how to understand and handle the nuances of social interactions and improve oral language skills.

Mood cards teach kids about different moods/emotions and positive actions that can be taken in a fun and educational way.

Autism Education Flash cards teach core ABA & early autism lessons: Receptive Labeling, Expressive Labeling, Matching Identical Cards, Matching Similar Cards, Sorting into Categories, Adjectives, Feature, Function, Class and Storytelling

A simple timetabling tool, designed to make transitions from one activity to another easier for the individual to cope with. If someone understands what to expect, and can view activities for themselves rather than relying on those around them, it allows them a sense of understanding and self determination which can reduce stress.

PECS teach children with autism and children on the spectrum a fast, self-initiating, functional communication system. PECS begins with the exchange of simple icons but rapidly builds “sentence structure”.

A4 boards helps individuals to understand their own emotions, and encourages them to identify them by attaching a ‘me’ symbol next to the appropriate image. This can help to reduce anxieties and emotional stress, as a lot of the difficulty individuals with ASD find is in first identifying their emotions, and secondly communicating them so that others understand.

Visual rewards help children track progress and develop responsibility. These boards are great when motivating students to exhibit good behavior.

These are just a few ideas. If you are looking for more, shop the Store! You will find your perfect Behavior Resources List!

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Getting Children with Autism to Communicate

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