Visual Support Tools
Updated: Mar 2, 2022
I was recently watching a video series on visual supports offered by Autism Community Training (ACT). The presenter, Dr. Brenda Fosset, BCBA-D had a lot of great information on why and how to implement different kinds of visual support tools in a variety of situations. Visual support tools like visual schedules are commonly used to help reduce unpredictability by letting individuals know what to expect during their day (Fosset, 2017). Visual support tools can have many other benefits such as helping organize an individual's environment or increasing independence during certain activities or routines (Fosset, 2017). For the sake of this blog post, I’d just like to share some tips about how to support receptive language development (what your child understands) while using a visual schedule.
Visual schedules can be a great way to teach your child about time concepts and temporal vocabulary (Fosset, 2017). When setting up and reviewing the visual schedule with your child, you can model words like before, after, first, then, next.
After teaching these concepts, you can also check your child’s comprehension by providing them with simple directions or asking simple questions. For example, you can give a direction like “find bath time and put it after snack”. Or you can ask a question like “what are we doing before snack?” and your child can answer this question by pointing to the corresponding picture (or answering verbally).
Written by: Brooke Monk, MSc.
Registered Speech Language Pathologist
Fosset, B. (October, 2017). Picturing Success: Visual Support Strategies for Individuals with ASD [video]. Autism Community Training. https://www.actcommunity.ca/education/videos/visual-support-strategies-for-individuals-with-asd