Visual Communication Does not Have to ComplicatedAug 05, 2022
Five Simple Ways to Use Visual Supports at Home
Visual supports are a communication tool. Visual communication supports are portable, durable, and inexpensive to make. They can help many children and adults with communication delays be able to navigate their environments and communicate their wants, needs, and dislikes.
My daughter is eighteen and is nonspeaking. We have been using visual supports and augmentative alternative communication for over sixteen years. I have been making visual supports during that time, and I want to share with you the best and easiest system I use at home and for my clients.
Smarty Symbols are my go-to when making and creating visual supports. I want to share with you five ways I use Smarty Symbols in my home to work on safety and life skills.
- One of the things we are working on is: what is safe to touch and not touch in the kitchen. My daughter tends to touch everything and not know what could hurt her. One way we are working on this is with an interactive book. I created this book with a Smarty Symbols book template, loose leaf book binder rings, and velcro. We can now practice learning what is "hot" by reading and talking about what things we should not touch in the kitchen.
- Cleaning up toys and putting things back where they go. My daughter Hannah uses a wheelchair and does not walk, so I wanted to create a way for her to clean up after playing. I got a basket from the dollar store, printed off the Smarty Symbols to match my daughter's toys, and velcro. To put this into use, I put the picture of the item we are cleaning up velcroed to the basket and then helped Hannah match and put the items into the basket. The caregiver then takes the items to the room. This allows Hannah to help in the cleanup of her toys.
- Learning to cross the street is an important safety skill. I want to show you how I used a ruler, tape, and Smarty Symbols to create a walk, stop and look teaching tool. My daughter loves to push herself in her wheelchair but knowing when to stop and look both ways has been a struggle. So I made a portable stop and look both ways with visual support to help learn when to stop, look, and when to cross the street safely.
- My daughter uses an augmentative alternative communication (AAC) device, but sometimes it runs out of battery, or the high-tech device might get wet. That is where the low-tech communication board comes into place. I was able to create a custom communication board with Smarty Symbols.
- The fifth way I use Smarty Symbols is by creating a visual schedule for my son to get ready in the morning. It has all the things he needs to do before and after school. The visual supports help him keep track of his to-do list items. All that was needed to make this was creating and printing the visual schedule and laminating.
I am a huge fan of Smarty Symbols because the company is always developing more symbols, the website is easy to use, and their price point is so affordable. They have given me a special code that will get all of you 10% off Promo code: COURTNEY10 Check it out here. Code is good for August 5 & 6, 2022
You can also learn more about the company's mission to get communication boards on playgrounds across the country. Learn more about playground communication boards