Visual Supports

“I translate both spoken and written words into full-color movies, complete with sound, which runs like a VCR tape in my head. When somebody speaks to me, his words are instantly translated into pictures.”  ~ Temple Grandin

Pictures can be a useful tool for teaching and communicating when pictures are a strength for an individual.  Images of real items or pictures that represent items can be used in a variety of ways to support individuals.  

Visual Supports is a strategy used to increase and support comprehension of what is happening.  Pictures or visual supports are used in schedules, to teach new skills, or in social stories.

Since many therapy interventions use pictures, it is important to distinguish the intent when using or receiving pictures.  When teaching the steps to a routine, you may be pointing to the pictures while talking about them and maybe even pointing to the actual items to use during those steps.  

To help your child or loved one learn the steps to a routine, print out these helpful visuals and put them in the location where the steps are done (i.e. brushing teeth routine in the bathroom).  Talk about the steps while you point to the pictures.  Please keep in mind, things take time so it may take 3 times of modeling the routine or 30 times.  Don’t give up, you are helping your child be a step closer to independence when they are able to follow the steps 🙂

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