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Visual Supports

What are Visual Supports?

Visual supports are tools that are used to increase the understanding of language, environmental expectations, and to provide structure and support for struggling students. They facilitate understanding by remaining static or fixed in the individual’s environment. If verbal language is the only method used to communicate expectations, provide support and increase and understanding of language, then individuals with cognitive, behavioral, receptive language or processing disorders may have extreme difficulty.

Why use Visual Supports?

Some individuals develop stronger visual skills than auditory skills. Visual supports allow them to use this visual strength to process, organize, remember, and respond to information thereby allowing the individual to more easily participate in the communicative process. Visual supports also allow important information to remain accessible in the individual’s environment. This can greatly reduce the stress levels and inappropriate behaviors that some students may exhibit when they cannot effectively communicate or when they do not understand the expectations of the environment.

What can Visual Supports be Used for?

Visual supports are commonly used to communicate choices, organize daily schedules, give directions, explain rules or expectations, aide in transition, or provide appropriate actions.

Adapted from http://autism.pbisillinois.org/iattap_Visual_Supports_Fact_Sheet_1_.pdf

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