Visual supports can be powerful for families with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). At A Gem of Joy, we provide community-based and in-home ABA services throughout the Maryland area to help learners and their families to improve communication and social interactions.
For more information about receiving training and education about how to communicate with your child or enhance their communication skills using visual supports, please call us at 888.501.6641. We’d be happy to go over our other autism therapies and how partnering with you and your family can open the door to new skills.
What Are Visual Supports in Applied Behavior Analysis?
Visual support is crucial in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. These visual cues empower learners to comprehend and engage effectively in social situations, fostering appropriate responses and enhanced communication.
Using visual supports can help with understanding and expression of language so learners are able to communicate and the people in their lives can communicate with them. Examples of visual supports can include the following:
These can include pictures, objects, symbols, or words that are used to remind a learner of what they should do.
This type of visual support is commonly used to break down an activity into smaller steps that make it easier for the learner to understand and follow.
These are often used to help learners make decisions. For example, if a learner is trying to decide what toy they want to play with, you can provide them with two or more pictures of various toys, and they can select the one that looks most appealing to them.
This type of visual support helps show learners how much time an activity has left before it needs to be completed.
This type of visual support helps learners remember to complete certain tasks or activities. Checklists can also help the learner understand what they need to do to achieve their goals.
Incorporating visual supports into ABA therapy can offer the opportunity to improve communication and social understanding for children. It can also help parents and caregivers better understand their child’s needs and provide the necessary tools to help them succeed.
Benefits of Visual Supports
Visual supports can be beneficial to people who are nonverbal, have a limited vocabulary, have difficulty understanding social cues, or are learning to behave appropriately in social situations.
Visual supports can offer numerous advantages for individuals with ASD:
- Improved attention
- The chance for successful communication between the person with autism and their family or caregivers
- Increased independence in completing tasks
- Reduced behavior issues due to frustration from not understanding expectations
- Improved self-esteem as they learn more about themselves and how to respond to different cues
Visual supports extend beyond communication. They can aid learners in decision-making, setting up routines, carrying out tasks, and grasping abstract concepts such as units or time.