Creating a visual world. Our reason for helping children with Autism and Additional Needs is simply wanting to save other families, carers, teachers and therapists the time it took us to make visual aids for our son so that the early intervention can begin as soon as possilbe.
The hours spent taking hundreds of photographs only to be unsure of which ones to print first, then the days/months/years spent on the tedious task of printing and laminating the photographs to provide a visual structure and supports for our child could not go to waste, instead all our hard work can be used to help others in the same situation.
I got over my “this is all too hard” attitude and went with the advice I was given from our wonderful early intervention educactors.
Firstly I started with using visuals supports to get my son to:
* Make food and play choices
* show him where we were going
Once he could comprehend the concept of using a visual support to communicate with us and for us to be able to communicate with him we moved onto:
* Building visual routines at home
* Behaviour and social support
This flowed into making visual support schedules for preschool and school.
Grasping the concept wasnt easy, it took alot of repetition, the key is to be persistent and consistent. For example every time he wanted something to eat, we would use 2 food photographs on a choice-board to get him to choose his own food.
So if your thinking using visual supports to prompt communication and interaction for people with Autism and Additional Needs is a waste of time or is too hard, please think again. The decline in my son’s anxiety and seeing him more relaxed and happy was evident and enough to know that all that time creating a visual world was possibly the best thing I ever did.