Visual Supports Help Students Communicate and Learn

Most people with autism think in pictures. They have a hard time finding words to express their thoughts, so they’ll internally visualize pictures to help them find the appropriate words. It’s as if they have a virtual Rolodex of pictures in their head and as they’re speaking they’re referencing those images and equating them to words.

Linden Grove School uses visual supports in a variety of ways.

For students who are less verbal, they are provided with visuals to help them communicate their needs and wants while helping them to build their internal Rolodex. For example, they may be provided with images to indicate if they prefer to go out to the playground or use an iPad during free time.

Visuals are also used to communicate school schedules and to illustrate steps in a task, whether a science experiment, a writing assignment, or a recipe for making breakfast sandwiches.

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