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reasons to use visual supports

20+ Reasons to Use Visual Supports for Children with Autism

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There are many reasons to use visual supports for children with autism. Visual supports are pictures or other visual cues that help children who have difficulty communicating. Visual supports can be picture cards, objects, photographs or even words. Visual supports are used with children with autism as well as children with other disabilities. For this reason, they help children with autism specifically interact socially, use language appropriately and limit any repetitive behaviors. The following are 20+ reasons to use visual supports for children with autism:

  1. Helps eliminate some behavior issues
  2. Helps improve verbal and nonverbal communication
  3. Teaches social skills (expectations)
  4. Gains attention
  5. Communicates classroom/school rules
  6. Helps the child share information
  7. Gives the child the ability to make a choice
  8. Aids in the child’s handling change
  9. Supports transitions
  10. Helps communicate emotions
  11. Helps teach routines
  12. Helps teach new skills
  13. Helps clarify verbal information
  14. Helps children remain on task
  15. Helps promote independence
  16. Provides a concrete schedule
  17. Eliminates unnecessary verbiage
  18. Encourages peer interaction
  19. Helps with organization of materials
  20. Allows the child to share during group activities
  21. Helps the child identify job tasks
  22. Provides consistency across settings

It is important to note that when using visual supports, you want to teach your child how to use it first. Once you have taught them how and when to use it correctly, you can focus on being consistent with the parameters that you have set. Remember to focus on the task at hand and not any challenging behaviors that may arise. Once you have visual supports in place and you are using them consistently, they will help your child communicate more appropriately throughout the day.