Posts Tagged ‘person on the autism spectrum’

Autistic visual supports what are they?

Friday, July 16th, 2010

Visual supports are part of our everyday lives, we read newspapers, books, use the internet, watch TV, look at road maps, signs and so on. They are important, the vast majority of us rely on visual supports in our jobs, at school, college and so on, and many of us could not function as effectively without visual supports.

Visual supports can be used to help people with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions in much the same way.

Most autistic individuals are visual thinkers and learners, meaning they think in pictures. Therefore presenting information in a visual manner can help encourage and support the communication skills, language development, social skills development, encourage positive behaviours and the ability to process information in people with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism spectrum disorder is a lifelong condition which affects a person’s ability in three main areas of development: social interactions, communication – verbal and nonverbal and imagination skills. This is often referred to as the triad of autistic impairments.

The triad of autistic impairments is found in all autistic individuals, but to varying degrees dependant on the individuals own level of development. There is no cure for autism, but there are various methods and treatments for autism available which can help people with autism spectrum address the triad of autistic impairments.

Having a lack of social interaction, communication and imagination skills can be confusing and lead to social isolation and even bullying in many cases. For children with autism it is vital that they are taught appropriate social, communication and imagination skills directly. This is achieved using treatments for autism like autistic visual supports.

So autistic visual supports what are they and where can you find them? There are various treatments for autism like social stories, PECS, flash cards, schedules, communication boards and so on all very good autistic visual supports and all readily available for most parents of autistic children.

The internet is the perfect place to begin looking for supports for children with autism, sites run by behaviour specialists, O.T.,  Language specialists, clinics and so on offer parents of autistic children the chance to order and download various autistic visual supports sometimes for free or for a small fee.

Probable one of the major visual supports for children with autism is social skills stories. A good source of social skills stories is found at:


Social skills stories are used to teach and encourage social interaction, communication and imagination skills and behaviours as well as address other difficulties that the person on the autism spectrum may be struggling with such as personal hygiene issues, school related difficulties and so on.


Social skills stories answer the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as give an insight into the thoughts, emotions and feelings of others. Using visual images and first person text the social skills story breaks the skill down into relevant social key points giving the person on the autism spectrum a chance to rehearse the skill making it more predictable, therefore reducing anxieties, confusion and stress.


Social skills stories are easy to edit; personalize and print making them convenient and easy to use. To find out more about autistic visuals supports what are they visit: