Visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism

A major area of concern for parents with autistic children is getting to grips with their child’s social and communication difficulties. It is a fact that all children with ASD show marked developmental deficits in social and communication skills.

 

Lacking the ability to understand communication both verbal and nonverbal is difficult. It is a lack of appropriate communication skills that can lead to social mistakes, bullying and inappropriate behaviours.

 

For many children with ASD routines are important and can be a cause of stress when the routine changes even the slightest change can cause anxieties.


Many schools now recognise the need to teach students with autism expressive communication skills. But fail to help teach those students with autism to understand why we communicate and how communication can help us in our everyday lives.

 

Research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorder are visual thinkers and learners. This shows us that any information or social cues we wish to share with our autistic child will be better understood when the information is presented visually.

 

Consequently using visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism spectrum disorder has proven to be an effective means of helping children with ASD address their communication difficulties.

 

Visual strategies such as visual timetables, schedules, flash cards, PECS and social skills stories are all visual tools used for increasing communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorders.

 

Visual tools such as PECS, flash cards and social skills stories are important in helping your autistic child improve positive behaviours and independence, thus helping your autistic child to reach his or her full potential.

 

Looking at social skills stories as a strategy, introduced twenty years ago social skills stories are one of the major visual tools used today for improving communication difficulties. Difficulties such as asking questions, making friends, having a conversation, sharing, taking turns, saying Hi and so on…

 

A social story is a visual plan of a skill or behaviour the child with autism is struggling with. Using visual images and age appropriate first person text the social story breaks the skill or situation into small understandable chunks.  And answers the “wh” questions (who, where, why, when and what), as well giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others, helping the child with autism to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

To find out more about visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism by using social skills stories as a strategy visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com