Generally children with autism are visual thinkers this means that they think in pictures (pictures being the first language and speech/words the second language).
Consequently, for the majority of children with autism using visual information and teaching is far easier for them to understand.
Avoid long strings of verbal instructions. People with autism have problems with remembering the sequence. Instead use smaller sentences and visual prompts, like visual flash cards and visual social story cards.
Nonverbal autistic children and adults will find it easier to associate words with pictures if they see the printed word and a picture like for example on the visual flash cards.
Therefore, when looking at ways to teach children with autism social behaviours it is probably a good idea to consider visual strategies.
There are many forms of visual strategies available to teach social behaviours: visual social story cards, visual flash cards, PECS and social skills stories are a few on offer to parents, caregivers and teachers of autistic children and adults.
Visual strategies like social stories use visual images and short pieces of text in a manner that people with autism find easy to understand. The social story and visual social story cards use appropriate first person text and are always from the autistic individual’s point of view.
Many autistic individual’s use social stories to help with social awareness skills and behaviours as well as an aid for communication difficulties which are also a common issue for many people with autism.
Commonly autistic children and adults have communication difficulties, therefore social skills stories are implemented to help them overcome many of the difficulties that face.
A social story answers the “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as HOW and will give an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others which is an area of marked weakness for most autistic individuals.
The social story and visual socials story cards follow a set pattern of sentence type and are generally written in word format making editing easy. No two individuals are ever the same and we all use different terminology with our youngster, therefore editing is on essential.
To learn more about visual flash cards, visual social story cards and social stories visit any of the following sites: