Archive for the ‘visual strategy’ Category

Social skills training for autism

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

For the vast majority of autistic individuals the “everyday or normal” communication and social challenges they face can cause stress and anxieties.

Many children with autism experience difficulty with aspects of social interactions and communication. This is referred to as social skills deficits, this means the ASD child has impaired abilities in certain aspects for example they will struggle to relate to their peers and form or maintain friendships.

Methods such as social skills stories for autism can be used to overcome many of the hurdles autistic individuals face on an almost daily bases with social and communication difficulties.

A common difficulty shared by the majority of children with autism is to make inappropriate remarks (communication difficulties) or behave in socially unacceptable ways with little awareness of the social implications of these behaviours.

Social skills stories can help by not asking the ASD child to change inappropriate social behaviours. Instead, social skills stories work by visually showing the ASD child an alternative communication or socially acceptable skill or alternative social strategies.

Used as a means of communication and social skills training for autism, social skills stories are easy to implement and use, they need no formal training, can be printed, edited and personalized to suit individuals own specific needs.

Social skills stories are used as a role model for appropriate behaviours. Generally most autistic individuals will be visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in images and pictures. Therefore, using visual supports for autism is by far the best option. This visual strategy is implemented in social skills stories for autism, appropriate visual images are used with first person text as a visual plan of the skill, situation, task or communication difficulties the ASD child may be struggling with.

Research suggests visual supports for autism can be beneficial in social skills training for autism. By using a visual strategy children with autism can better understand skills and behaviours the rest of us take for granted such as making friends, washing our teeth, respecting personal space, asking questions and so on.

To learn more about social skills stories for autism and how they may benefit your child visit:

Social stories for children with autism

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Social Stories are a visual tool used to help teach social skills to children with autism.

Social stories provide the individual with autism an explanation and visual framework of the skill or situation that they may find difficult or confusing.

Research shows that the Social Stories are an excellent visual tool which can be used to help reduce stress and inappropriate behaviours in some children with an ASD. The social story also increases social understanding and has been reported as a good approach for helping children with an ASD to reach their full potential.

The goal of a social skills story is to increase the autistic child’s understanding of skills and social situations they are struggling to master and understand. By making the child with an ASD more comfortable with and in the situation, and suggest possible responses they may receive from others.


Social skills stories follow specific sentence types: descriptive, perspective, directive and control. Introduced around twenty years ago as a means of communication, social stories have grown into a very popular visual strategy that can be used with all autistic individuals regardless of age and ability.


Generally social skills stories are written by experts, teachers and parents to help teach social and communication skills to autistic individuals. Social stories can be edited to suit all needs, personalized, printed and are portable making them convenient and easy to use.

A social skills story can be introduced to help deal with any situation or skill that the autistic child needs help with. No formal training is needed to use social skills stories, site which offer support and expertly written social stories can be found using search engines such as Google.


Sites that offer social stories for children with autism like offer support and downloads of social skills stories for various situations and skills for a small fee.

A social skills story should be visual and use first person text, like a role model the social skills story will help with transitions, and changes to routines as well as teach and support social skills and communication difficulties.


For more information on this visual strategy visit any of the following sites and find social stories for children with autism

Autism teaching aids and visual strategies

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

For children on the spectrum a lack of social and communication skills is common. Due to social skills deficits many children on the spectrum find the world confusing and stressful a lack of appropriate communication skills can mean a lack of friendships and in some cases bullying and isolation.


And for many parents teaching social and communication skills to their autistic child can become a primary focus.


Children with autism like structure and routines and can become frustrated and anxious when routines change, they dislike surprises and may display obsessive behaviours which can make the child appear odd or weird.

Consequently, because of these social skills deficits many parents and teachers struggle to find appropriate techniques and autism teaching aids that are easy to implement and suitable.

It is a fact that the majority of children on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and will therefore respond better to visual strategies; such as a visual schedule, social skills stories, flash cards, PECS communication symbols and so on.


A visual strategy can be implemented to suit the individual needs of the autistic child. Many parents and teachers use a combination of visual strategies, all of which compliment each other.


No two autistic children will ever be the same and what works for one autistic child may not be suitable for another.

That said, the vast majority of autistic children use social skills stories as primary autism teaching aids to help them better cope with daily tasks and activities as well as the not so common activities and tasks.


Parents do not need any formal training or previous knowledge to use Autism teaching aids and visual strategies.

A visual strategy such as social skills stories can be used to help the autistic child learn social and communication skills that they may be struggling to master, like for example making friends, asking questions, respecting personal space, or less common activities such as going for a dental visit, visiting grand parents, a birthday party and so on.

For children with autism understanding our world is difficult, therefore addressing any anxieties they may have can help cut down on anxiety attacks, melt downs and negative behaviours.


Introducing a visual schedule will benefit your child, a visual schedule gives the child on the spectrum a step by step framework of the day’s activities using simple pictures or images, reducing surprises and giving routine to the day.

Social skills stories break down the activity or skill into small easier to understand pieces. Using visual images and pictures the social skills stories are visual strategies that show the child on the spectrum by answering the “wh” question – who, where, why, when and what, it will also give the child on the spectrum an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others why and how we undertake certain activities for example brushing our teeth, washing our hands, raising our hand to speak, recess and so on.

Flash cards and PECS communication symbols are visual strategies that can be used effectively with both verbal and nonverbal autistic children. They are universally used for visual schedules to accompany social skills stories, on now and next boards, mini visual schedules, choosing boards and as autism teaching aids.

Flash cards are small laminated pieces of card showing an image or picture some flash cards will also have a small piece of text saying what the picture is of for example, coat, toilet, pencil etc. The idea being the PECS communication symbols or flash cards be used to communicate with the child on the spectrum, they are used in various ways and settings.

For more information on autism teaching aids and visual strategies visit:

For social skills stories which can be downloaded immediately go to:


For flash cards and communication symbols which can be used in a variety of ways such as on visual schedules or on their own as a means of communication visit: