Posts Tagged ‘communication picture cards’

Students with ASD social supports

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

The main characteristics of autism spectrum disorder ARE social awareness deficits, communication difficulties and imagination deficits, as well as some sensory processing issues and obsessive behaviours.

Typically most children on the spectrum ARE visual thinkers and learners, this meas that they think in pictures/images and tend to use speech/language as a secondary tool.

So how CAN this knowledge help us with finding students with ASD social supports?

There ARE a wide variety of supports and tools for autism spectrum disorder, typically the most significant supports and tools for autism WILL be those which ARE visual, for example, PECS, communication picture cards (flash cards), social skills stories and visual social story cards.

For many students with ASD school can be confusing at times and quite chaotic. Typically children on the spectrum like set patterns and routines and WILL dislike any changes to routines or suprises, they WILL PREFER things to remain on an even level.

Therefore most students with autism WILL find particular times of the school day such as recess, break time, PE etc confusing. Using social supports like social stories and communication picture cards CAN help them to cope with and be more setteled during these times of the day.

Social stories ARE short descriptive stories relating to a skill, activity, event, behaviour etc that the child with autism spectrum disorder finds difficult. The social story can act like a visual framework or step by step plan detailing visually what is happening and expected of them.

Social stories and communication picture cards ARE excellent supports and tools for autism to use in and around the classroom and school, they ARE also excellent for at home and ALL other areas the child with autism finds difficult. Using first person text, always from the perspective of the child, the social story uses images/pictures to describe the situtation or skill in a manner the student with autism can better understand.

To learn mre about social stories and picture communication cards visit:
Alternativelly visit:

Autistic Visual Supports

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Individuals with autism ARE typically “Visual Thinkers – Visual Learners”, this means that they think in pictures and images and use speech / words as a secondary language.

“I think in pictures. Words are like a second language to me…when somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures… One of the most profound mysteries of autism has been the remarkable ability of most autistic people to excel at visual spatial skills while performing so poorly at verbal skills.” (Grandin, 1995).

Therefore presenting information and guidance visually will have a much better impact on individuals with autism.  There are a number of visual supports for autism which WILL help your child on the spectrum learn skills and behaviours that they find confusing, stressful or simply do not understand.

Autistic Visual Supports like: Social Skills Stories, Communication Picture Cards (flash cards), PECS and so on CAN be quickly and easily implemented and need NO formal training to use.

Social Skills Stories are short descriptive visual representations of a skill or behaviour. The social story breaks the skill down into smaller components, removes and un-necessary fluff or language and explains How and why something happens.

The social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, where, why and when and provides an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most individuals with autism.

Autistic Visual Supports – Communication Picture Cards (flash cards)
ARE small laminated cards depicting an image or skill. For eample the Communication Picture Cards can be USED as an exchange –  the child with ASD hands over a picture card in retuen for the item on the card  -for example an apple at snack time and so on.

The Communication Picture Cards are also USED on visual timetables, as pointers around the home or in school, on chices boards, now and next boards and as a communication tool.

Both Social Skills Stories and Communication Picture Cards ARE available from:

To learn more about Autistic Visual Supports and how they can benefit your child with ASD visit today and download Social Skills Stories which can be adapted to suit individual needs, no two children are the smane and we all use different terminology with our kids, therefore it is important that the social story you choose is editable.


Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions

Monday, February 6th, 2012

Intervention strategies ARE mainly used to help OVERCOME the deficits and abnormal behaviours often displayed by children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions CAN help increase the quality of life as well as help the autistic child reach his / her full potential. Interventions ARE typically tailored to individual needs, for example a non-verbal autistic child may find PECS and picture cards more suitable, while a verbal autistic child may find social stories more beneficial.

Studies show that Intervention strategies ARE beneficiaul to ALL children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder once the correct strategy is in place. For the purpose of this article I am going to focus on social stories and communication picture cards.

Social stories ARE one of the most significant Intervention strategies that has been introduced over the last twenty years. The social story is a short almost comic like description of a skill or behaviour that is broken down in to smaller easier to understand sections.

For example: most children with autism struggle to hold and start conversations, this can have a knock on affect and the child may struggle to amke and maintain friendships. A social story can act as a visual framework or plan and break down the steps needed to approach and ask another child to play, reducing stress and anti-social behaviours.

A child with autism is typically a VISUAL learner, this means that they will find visual information easier to use, with speech / language as secondary, thus social stories ARE commonly VISUAL.

Using visual images / pictures the social story answers the “wh” questions – who, what, where, when and whay as well as “HOW” and will give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness in most children with autism.

Characteristically social stories ARE written in first person text and will always be from the autisic childs own perspective. The social story should be editable and easy to personalize as no two individuals will ever be the same and we all use different terminology with our own child.

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Interventions like communication picture cards (flash cards) ARE typically used to help with communication difficulties. For example a non-verbal autistic child can have a selection of communication picture cards enabling them to communicate their own needs. At snack time the child may wish to have an apple for example so will give the teacher the card showing an apple in return for the card the teacher will give the child the apple and so on…

The communication picture cards can have a variety of uses – on visual timetable, now and next boards, choices boards, displayed around the home and classroom as a reminder for example of where the toilet is, coat pegs and so on. The communication picture cards ARE also used for communication the teacher can show the child with autism what is expected of them for example – recess, assembley etc by pointing to a picture card, giving the child a gentle prompt as to what is happening or about to happen, again reducing stress and confusion.

To learn more about social stories and communication picture cards and to see an example visit: