Posts Tagged ‘visual tools’

Communication difficulties in child with autism

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Common to individuals with autism are social skills deficits. Having social skills deficits can make communication difficult for a child with autism.

As typical beings we communicate both verbally and non-verbally daily. Communication is a major skill, we naturally learn. For individuals with autism however the ability to communicate is affected, having ASD can make an individual react and interact in a very different manner to typically developing beings.

For a child with an ASD expressing their needs or wants, can quite often be misunderstood. For example: In the classroom; A child with autism may not typically ask for a drink when they are thirsty, they may for example snatch the drink from another person, simply take the drink without asking or maybe they will shout out etc., this is typical to autism.


Normally all adverse autistic behaviour will happen for a reason an internal or external factor, not simply out of mischief or the desire to be awkward or naughty.

Research shows us autistic children are generally visual thinkers and learners, which means they think in pictures. Therefore when teaching or caring for a child with autism it is usually best to use visual tools and supports when you are trying to get information across or tackle an adverse autistic behaviour. 


Research shows a child with autism will be less confused when the information presented to them is visual.

Understandably many teachers especially those teaching in mainstream education are little prepared to teach a child with autism. The English language is predominantly verbal, and this is the main focus in mainstream education. However with an autistic student this method of teaching is not always going to be affective.

With a poor attention span and communication difficulties with both verbal and non-verbal communication the autistic student may struggle with lessons which are primarily verbal or written.

A lack social skills and communication difficulties can make it problematic for autistic children to make and maintain friendships, and generally “fit in” socially.

Using visual support tools for autism such as social stories; WILL help to improve communication difficulties in a child with autism.

Using visual supports tools for autism within the classroom and at home can help the child with an ASD focus on the skill or situation that they are struggling with. A social skills story can show the child with an ASD a visual step by step plan or framework of what is expected of them and what they can expect from others.

The social skills story answers the “wh” questions (who, where, when, why and what) helping the autistic child feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

Developed almost twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray to help her communicate with the autistic children she was working with, the social story has now evolved into a significant tool used by parents and teachers to help them improve communication difficulties and social skills in their child with autism.

To find out more about social stories and how they help improve communication difficulties in a child with autism visit:

Other sites offering social stories to improve social and communication skills for the autistic student can be found at:

(ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder social skills lessons

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

It is not uncommon for individuals with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) to display challenging behaviors and difficulties with social interactions and communication skills.

All individuals with ASD have social and communication deficits which are often referred to as the theory of mind, or “mind blindness”. Meaning they lack the ability to predict the thoughts, feelings and emotions of other people; which can lead to social mistakes or blunders especially in teenage autistic individuals.

Some of these deficits can include:


For the majority of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder probably one of the major difficulties they encounter the theory of mind is with initiating social interactions and responding to the social interactions they may receive from others.


Many children with autism spectrum disorder display difficulties engaging in joint attention, and have difficulties with skills such as sharing, playing, pretend play and taking turns etc.


Generally children with autism spectrum disorder lack being able to understand or demonstrate non-verbal social communication i.e. the “unwritten rules” of social interactions.

Teaching an autistic child to overcome their social skills deficits is quite often a struggle for many parents and teachers.


There are treatments of autism available which can help parents and teachers find suitable methods of tackling social skills deficits using visual tools such as social skills stories.


There is no need for any formal training or qualification to use social skills stories. And now with the internet and search engines such as google, many parents and teachers are now finding it a lot easier to source this effective resource.


Treatments of autism such as social skills stories are used effectively for ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) social skills lessons.

Social skills stories are visually rich, easy to implement, can be personalized and printed. Following a specific formula they effectively teach social and communication skills to autistic children.


Generally autistic youngsters are visual thinkers and learners and respond better to visual information, making visual tools such as social stories an ideal tool.


Social skills stories are implemented to teach social and communication skills to autistic children around the house and school environment.

Using images and first person text a social story breaks the skill or situation the autistic child is struggling with into smaller pieces and uses the social cues to show in a visual framework the skill in an easy to understand visual format, like a role model for the autistic child to follow.

The social story can be personalized to suit an individuals needs.

Social stories for autistic children can be downloaded from sites like


All the social skills stories for autistic children on this site are professionally written and visually rich.


Other sites offering visual tools such as social skills stories for (ASD) Autism Spectrum Disorder social skills lessons and autism symbols cards can be found at:





Visual strategies for improving communication difficulties in children with autism

Monday, May 10th, 2010

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:

How to use visual strategies in autism

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Generally children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related conditions tend to be visual learners. They understand what they see (visual) much easier than what they hear (auditory) or read. Therefore, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder benefit significantly from the use of visual strategies.


By using visual strategies parents, care givers and teachers are able to address communication difficulties, helping the ASD child interact successfully with those around them.


For many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder interacting with their environment and those around them can prove stressful and confusing.  The ability to understand and read other people’s body language, facial expression and communications is missing in autism.


What are the communication difficulties in autism? Firstly the ASD child will be unable to express themselves effectively.  Secondly the ASD child will not understand social skills or cues they will struggle to understand what they are supposed to do or not do.  And can become confused and anxious about what is happening or not happening.


For many parents, care givers, teachers and other professionals learning how to use visual strategies in autism has proven beneficial.


There are many visual tools available for autism, but probable the most significant visual tools for autism are social stories and PECS cards or flash cards.


Learning how to use visual strategies in easy, no formal training is necessary. Visual tools such as social stories for autism can be downloaded, edited and printed to personalize them for your ASD child.


Social stories are short visual frameworks of a skill or behaviour that the child with ASD is struggling with. Much like a comic strip conversation, the social story is presented visually with appropriate text always in the first person and from the point of view of the child with ASD.


Following a set formula and normally written by experts a social story can be implemented easily and effectively helping communication difficulties and other social skills and behaviours.


To learn more about these valuable visual tools and to get downloads of social stories for autism visit: Here you will find information on how to use visual strategies in autism, as well as info on autism and social stories for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.


Other sites offering info on autism and social stories for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions can be found at: