Typically a child on the spectrum WILL have difficulties with communication both verbal and non-verbal this is due to social skills deficits and is a common symptom of autism.
Children with autism ARE generally visual learners or visual thinkers, this means they think in pictures and use speech/words as a second language.
Generally parents and teachers report that the more information is moved from verbal to visual, the more successful children with autism ARE in understanding the information. This follows in ALL aspects of the child’s life and environment.
Autistic visual supports ARE introduced to HELP the child on the spectrum overcome social skills deficits and deal with the situations and skills they struggle with.
There ARE various “autistic visual supports” that can be used in the home, at school, and in the community.
Social skills stories;
Visual support cards
Flash cards and MORE…
Social skills stories ARE short visual description much like a comic script of a skill or situation. The social skills story uses images/pictures like a visual step by step plan which breaks the skill into smaller relevant sections and uses images to describe the skill.
The social skills story WILL answer the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and why as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others, which is an area of marked weakness in kids with autism.
Visual support cards work in the same manner as social skills stories by showing kids with autism what to expect and by offering explanations and possible responses.
The autism visual social story cards are small laminated cards about 9cm x 12cm which break the skill into small sections, with each section (part) of the skill displayed on each card, which are then flipped over like a comic book.
The autism visual social story cards CAN be very handy due to their size, making them portable and convenient to use.
Flash cards are used in the same manner as PECS cards as a means of communication. The flash card will display an image/picture, the child on the spectrum can show the parent/teacher the card. So for example at snack time the child may show the teacher a card displaying an apple, the teacher will take the card and exchange it for an apple, and so on.
All these “autistic visual supports” need no formal training to use and are easy to implement. You can see examples and gather more information as well as download of social skills stories from:
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