Visual Strategies

It is noteworthy to recognize here that the use of various visual support strategies can be helpful for both expressive and receptive communication, so the division below is somewhat arbitrary. As Pati King-DeBaun has stated, "The main emphasis [when making language and literacy visible] is placed on the individual's receptive language learning or input, with the understanding that over time students will better comprehend events and activities in their surroundings, make more sense of the world, and ease their anxieties and thus begin to use expressive language."

Visual Strategies for Expressive Communication website by Linda Hodgdon, Director of Cornerstone Communication Center. Products, articles, pictures, stories, printable picture groupings; Visual Bridges for improving communication. "Today at School and Last Night at Home are communication tools that the student prepares in one environment to help him communicate more effectively in another environment. Use pictures or written language or whatever other visual forms the student understands. Help him prepare a visual tool that gives some information about something that happened in his life."

Visual Strategies for Receptive Communication website "Lots of people benefit from using visual strategies. Do you use a day planner or a calendar or write notes to yourself to help you remember? Then you use visual strategies. All students can benefit from having visual supports to help them remember and understand. But using visual supports can be particularly helpful for students with special learning difficulties."

Visual Schedules and Choice Boards: Avoid Misinterpretation of their Primary Functions, article contributed by Beverly Vicker, Indiana Resource Center for Autism website. "Neither the schedule nor the choice display function as an alternative or augmentative 'voice' for the nonverbal person with autism spectrum disorders. Neither one has as its primary purpose the objective of making the individual a more efficient communicator ... Unlike schedule and choice displays which usually represent the messages that the adult (teacher, parents, etc.) wishes to convey, the thrust of an AAC system is to enable the person to express the messages that he or she (i.e., the person with autism spectrum disorders) would like to convey ... Without the experience of using a comprehensive expressive system, they may fail to gain an understanding or appreciation of the potential power of communication."

Visual Supports: "This collection of visual supports and other resources provides examples of various strategies that can be used to support students on the autism spectrum, as well as others with and without disabilities." Topics include Holidays and Celebrations, Behavior and Emotions, Health and Personal Care, Home, School, Schedules, Work Systems, Structured Tasks. Search feature for visual supports.

Change is Good! Supporting Students on the Autism Spectrum when Introducing Novelty, article contributed By Kara Hume, Indiana Resource Center for Autism website. Description of "several visual strategies that can assist when introducing new activities to students and when preparing them for unpredictability": priming, modified social stories, video priming, change cards, schedule cards.

5 "Go To" Sites for AAC & Visual Support Downloads by Carole Zangari, PrAACtical AAC