I want to share with you some visual support strategies on how to best use a choice-board to support a person to have choice and control over their own lives.
People with a disability in particular people with Autism Spectrum Disorders have difficulty processing auditory information, having to make their own choice, can sometimes be overwhelming.
A visual (photograph) is a concrete form of communication and allows the person to make their correct own choice and understand what is expected.
For this exercise, we are using photographs and supporting a person to make a choice of what they want to eat.
The choice is between a cereal or toast for breakfast.
Visual tips on using a choice board:
- On a choice board attach two photographs to choose from, any more than this, can be overwhelming.
- The object in the photograph needs to be clear without background distractions.
- Place a photograph of a food, you know the person likes to eat and something they don’t like to eat.
For example, if you know the person likes to eat toast and does not like a cereal. You can use this method to expand one’s diet.
- Support the person to point to the photograph they would like. Be patient, allow the person to process what is being asked of them.
- Use keywords only, refrain from using too many words. For example, if the person points to a toast say “toast” only. Encourage the person to repeat the word, “toast” after you, effectively teaching the labels of foods.
- Once pointing has been established, encourage the person to take the photograph off the choice board and hand it to you. Exchanging pictures as a form of communication.
- Bring the chosen photograph up to your eye level to prompt eye gazing.
- Use the written word, Yes or No as a visual prompt to support the person to confirm what they want.
- Be consistent and persistent, everyone is different and some people take longer than others to understand the process of making a decision.
Click here for more visual strategies.
Till next time