Visual supports in autism

Have you ever stopped to consider how often you use visual supports during the day? How about when you look at a TV Guide, use a recipe, look at a map…


All of these are visual supports. Yes of cause we could live without visual supports, but just consider how limited our lives would be…no internet, newspapers, maps etc!


A similar rule applies to autism, autistic people also need visual supports, and pretty similar to the visual supports we ourselves use “everyday”.


Visual supports in autism include visual timetables, autism social stories, communication systems, PECS, flashcards and other visual supports used for autistic coping strategies.


As we are already aware autistic children and people think and learn visually.


Therefore, it is essential that “visual supports in autism”, is given great consideration. Autistic people have difficulties with communication, and sometimes will lack the ability to speak, or their language may be restricted.


Which in itself can cause problems, but when this is coupled with their lack of social awareness also, it can prove to be a recipe for social mistakes.


Social mistakes can cause embarrassment and stress, which can lead to anxiety and sometimes trigger violent or aggressive outburst, which then can become a vicious circle.


There are various ways to introduce suitable visual supports in autism.


One excellent tool is the use of autism social stories. Social Stories can be used for teaching social skills to children with autism and related disabilities.


Social skill stories present  appropriate social behaviors for situations, which include answers to questions the autistic person will need to know to interact appropriately with others…for example, answers to who, what, where, when, and why.


Autism social stories can provide an individual with accurate information about those situations they may find difficult or confusing.


The social story will describe the situation in detail and focus is given to a few key points. These are the social cues…the events and reactions the individual may expect in the situation, the actions and reactions that might be expected of them, and why.


Using Autism social stories will increase your child’s understanding of why things happen and why they are expected to act in certain ways or do certain things, like washing their teeth, or using public toilets.


You can see an example social story at Studies have shown autistic people respond well to social stories. Visually social stories can be pictorially rich and colorful-giving the autistic person clear social cues and prompts for managing and understanding the situation, task, event or activity.


Immediately download and begin using appropriate visual supports in autism such as autism social stories, to help your autistic child, teen or adult find appropriate coping strategies for all situations they find stressful, confusing or difficult.


To view an example social story and immediately download appropriate autism social stories visit us at:

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