Do you use visual supports in the classroom or in your home? Visual supports are an excellent learning tool to help students to understand auditory input through visual images. Often, when people think of visual supports the imagine picture-based supports. While this is a format we often hear about, it is certainly not the only type of visual support.
Visual supports can be:
- Written words
- Line drawings
Visual supports can help to provide structure and routine, encourage independence, build confidence, improve understanding, reduce frustration and anxiety, and provide opportunities to interact with others. When we present information verbally, the words are available for a moment. When we present information visually it can be there for as long as the student needs it.
Visual supports are:
They can be taken with a child wherever they are going, they can be created in a way that they can withstand continuous use when they are laminated. They increase consistency for both children and adults in the environment, something that is of huge value to children with different learning needs.
Visuals are not just for learners with additional learning needs. We all use visual supports in our every-day lives. Whether it is an alarm clock, a diary, a monthly calendar, stop sign, no parking sign, a shopping list etc. we would not get through our daily lives without the use of visual supports.
One of the most important things to remember when using visual supports with children is that we are using the most appropriate form of visual for that individual child. While we often use class-wide visuals, it is important to make sure that individual children have their own visual supports if the class-wide supports are not accessible to them yet. There are different elements to take into consideration when deciding what form of visual supports that you should use with your child or student.
Transitioning learners to more advanced forms of visuals
When using visual supports always be mindful of transitioning students to more advanced supports. We want our children to be able to recognise and use the visual supports we use in our daily lives. It is important to teach them to understand different forms of visual supports. Independence is always a priority when supporting your child or student.
Do you want to learn more about the different types of visual supports? How to choose what supports to use with your learner? How to transition them to more sophisticated visual supports? If you answered yes to these questions then why not join us on the 13th of August at 7pm. We will be holding a live webinar on visual supports in the classroom. You can register here.