What are visual strategies?
Visual strategies are things we see.
Facial and body movements, gestures, pictures, images and objects, environmental cues and written language these are all used as visual strategies that help support our communication. The world we live in is full of visual information such as a calendar, diary, clocks, signs, logos and so on all of which are used by us daily and support our communication. Without these visual strategies our lives would be confusing.
One of the major difficulties faced by children with autism is a lack of communication skills. A child on the spectrum will almost certainly have deficits with social interactions, communication skills and imagination skills.
A lack of communication skills is a problem faced by all children with autism and is normally the main reason the child on the spectrum finds it hard to interact socially with their peers and others.
Continuous research is undertaken into the causes and treatments for autism with conclusive results showing visual strategies for developing better communication for children with autism can help increase their understanding, social interactions and communication skills and behaviours.
Generally an individual on the spectrum will be a visual thinker and learner, which means that the individual on the spectrum will think in pictures and images, and will therefore respond and understand information easier, when it is presented visually rather than written or oral.
Therefore it is important that when teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills the teaching be visually presented, using visual strategies.
Visual strategies for improving communication in autism such as social stories, PECS, flash cards, visual schedules etc can all be used as appropriate and effective methods for teaching an individual on the spectrum communication skills.
For children with autism it is not just the struggle with using language that hinders them but also understanding language and communication can be a difficulty. Children with autism lack the ability to understand the communication of others, trying to figure out what is happening or not happening, handling changes and transitions, and interpreting cues and signals in the environment can prove difficult and result in frustration and behaviour that is seen as negative.
Using visual support tools can help the autistic child understand what’s happening around them and why it is happening. Visual supports are a good structure that can be used to help support and teach an individual autistic child daily and not so common tasks, behaviours and skills.
Social stories are visual strategies for improving communication in autism, they can be used for a variety of issues, they can be edited to suit individual needs and levels of development, social stories are printable for ease of use and convenience and can be implemented quickly and effectively.
To learn more about how implementing social stories can help you teach social and communication skills and behaviours to your child with autism visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com
Alternatively other sites which offer downloads and explanations on the uses and implementation of social stories for your child with autism can be located at: