Common components seen with autism are a reliance upon different types of sensory cues to act as a scaffold in day-to-day life and a need for structure in any environment to ensure predictability.
Understanding Visual Cues
The most commonly utilised means of sensory cue or structuring is visual. Utilising her years of experience and education, Sharon has developed and produced a Visual Support Pack designed to provide parents and schools with a ready-made set of visuals to cover a wide variety of different areas of need. This visual programme is evidence based and is a teaching programme that will be used to structure the environment and support a child’s communication, social skills and general learning. It is a programme that, when used consistently, will reduce an autistic child’s anxiety as it works to the child’s need for predictability. It is a programme suitable for use at all learning levels and it is also compatible with reading and language supports; language semantics colour coding. These tools can be used to identify a safe or quiet place or to assist a child participate in any class routine for example.
What is the Programme
The autism journeys visuals programme is an evidence-based resource, created to support autistic individuals across environments by structuring the environment, supporting communication and reducing anxiety. It is broken into 5 parts; the Foundation Visuals Programme, the Build on Basics Programme, the Schools and Education Visuals Programme, the Emotional Literacy Programme and an introductory Task Analysis Package; and each of these are available as single packs or as an entire set.. It currently consists of 57 laminated plastic boards, ranging in size from A5 up to A3, 265 interchangeable visual tablets and in excess of 100 mobile laminate visuals. Every pack also includes an instruction manual explaining how to use each board and a social script manual to use specifically with the autistic individual to support understanding
Benefits of the Programme
The programme is used to teach a child to make choices, follow instructions, follow schedules and learn how to do and complete tasks. The pack includes, among others, visual templates to represent several common daily activities and household objects, sequencing visuals, customisable planners and schedules and change cards. These visuals can be used in conjunction with one another to prepare and support an individual seeking visual feedback and structure in almost any situation they are likely to find themselves in.
This programme is used to build upon skills, encouraging independence and empowering the child to transfer skills across settings. Ultimately, it ensures the child has a means to communicate his or her needs when he or she is too overwhelmed to speak.