Visual supports are a tool, people with Autism or people with language and learning disorders, can use a way of communicating.
A person can use the picture to say what they want or need and to understand what is happening around them.
Visuals can help with understanding the change to routine around school holidays and the closure of day program activities.
People young and old with a disability, can find a change to routine extremely difficult, often around this disruption to routine, we see a rise in anxiety and behaviours.
Behaviours and anxiety can place stress not only on the person, but the whole family or people who are supporting them.
Setting up visual support systems at home during this time of uncertainty, will reduce confusion and meltdowns.
People start to become calmer and not so afraid.
It makes sense, that someone who has difficulty process verbal information, can still learn and develop by seeing a picture used for language and learning
I will always remember this phrase, ” A picture tells a thousand words” – Temple Grandin.
- support a person to prepare and process change to their daily/weekly routine.
- prompt speech.
- forewarn of upcoming activities or outings and help with transitioning from one activity to another.
- help develop structure and routine to the persons day.
- prompt interaction and communication
- give a person choice and control over their life.
- build a persons confidence and self esteem.
- support a person when out in the Community to develop the necessary skills needed when in public.
The above are only some of the benefits visuals can make to the life of a person with limited speech.
Here is how to set up visual communication systems at home
People love routine
Developing a picture routine for the weeks activities.
Clear pictures showing what the person is doing each day of the week.
People can literally see what is going to happen during the week, reducing anxiety.
Place the routine on the back of the door or wall.
Supporting people to become independent
Daily task routine
Developing a picture task routine for the day.
A picture sequence of daily routine tasks such as the steps to getting ready in the morning, brushing teeth etc.
This will also build personal care skills for independent living.
Choice, Choice, Choice
Use pictures to encourage people to make their own choice of activity and what they want to eat.
Offer a range of different picture community access activities such as going to the movies or beach.
Start by giving the person a choice of two activities, help them make the choice.
Place the chosen activity on the weekly and daily picture routines.
Interact and play
A picture exchange system of different activities you can do together during the day, such as playing a board game or riding a bike.
This system will support the person to make their own choice of what activity they would like to do.
A resource to prompt sharing and interacting with others.
The reward system below will encourage the person to try something new or do something they wouldn’t usually choose.
A visual resource of images showing acceptable behaviour are visual cues for people on how to learn how behave, socialise and stay safe. at home and in the Community.
Make sure the visual cues are handy, keep picture cards in your pocket.
There are a million ways you can use visual supports to explain situations and support a person to understand the world to which they live.
Read more on our blog language & Autism visual communication strategies.
We can assist you with all your visual support needs. Contact us now.
Till next time