Snowy Valleys School

Planning and Learning Today for Living and Working Tomorrow

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Research indicates that people with autism are much better at processing information that is presented to them in a visual format than they are at processing information presented verbally.

Visual supports are used to clarify communication and to supplement language in order to assist in the understanding of what is expected, how to socialise and manage behaviour. These visual supports may allow people to function independently and gain confidence in the general environment. Visual supports should be set out simply and contain information that is relevant to the situation.

There are many types of visual supports and may include the following:

  • Schedules, mini-schedules
  • Visual timetables
  • Calendars
  • Task organisers
  • Choice boards
  • Transition supports
  • Rule boards

It is important to decide when and where visual supports are going to be utilised (such as location), if they need to be portable and the ability of the person to manage the visual support. Formats can range from a single item format to multi items such as a booklet or lists which can be complex.

When designing visual supports it is important to consider:

  • symbols/pictures to use (dependent on the person's literacy level)
  • format – accessible
  • information – what to include.