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How to create visuals for students with Autism, ADHD and other health impairments Angela Janick Camelot Therapeutic Day School
A little information about me: I have been teaching since 2002 I worked with mostly high school students during my first four years of teaching When I got laid off, I had a long term sub assignment in a middle school classroom with kids who have BD. I started to create some visuals to try to help them learn on a daily basis. I used a lot of Google images! After that assignment, I applied for an Art Teacher position at Camelot Therapeutic Day School I have always had a special place in my heart for students with special needs I believe everyone can learn at their own level and ability
Therapeutic Day School I did not have any training working with kids with Autism nor had I worked at a therapeutic day school. I had some experience from my other jobs working with kids with special needs and two special ed classes in college My school did not have an art teacher before me who worked with the students with Autism I had to start from scratch, but I shared an office with the Autism coordinator She told me about PECS Picture Exchange Communication System
At that time, I started making books with pictures and using the sentence strips to help my students who were familiar or not with PECS to aide them when doing art projects. Five years later, I still have some of the same kids, of course they are older, but they know exactly what to do when they are given a project strip. Sometimes, I don’t even have to say anything and they get right to work.
I also work with students who have social emotional disorders and other health impairments. I find that the visuals help these students as well. I may not use PECS with them, but I will show you some other examples that I have used later in the presentation.
The information that I am going to share with you is a compiling of things that I have learned over the last five years. I find the information useful on a daily basis I know that you probably have a student with Autism or other special needs in your classroom I hope the information I present will help you help all of your students succeed
Defining visual supports Have you ever made a list for the grocery store? Have you ever pointed to a picture in an advertisement or a menu to show someone what you want? Do you ever read a sign to tell you what line to stand in or what door to exit from? Do you ever write notes to your family members reminding them to do things?
The terms visual supports, visual strategies, or visual cues are used synonymously. Basically, visual supports enable a learner to keep track of daily activities and to develop an understanding of time and sequences (Koyama & Wang, 2011; Twachtman-Cullen, 1995).
For individuals with ASD, using visual supports can help them be more successful in what is often a confusing world. The individual with ASD does not necessarily internally recognize and understand how to use the information provided by visual supports. Many individuals will need to be specifically taught how to use existing visual supports in their environment.
Points to remember: Using the supports will give meaning to the pictures To help individuals attach meaning to the visual support, pair its use with spoken language. Match key words and phrases to the object, picture, or action. Stick with it! Sometimes you will see immediate results but other times it may take weeks or months Think about modifying the visuals: small changes can make a big difference Keep the visuals age appropriate Use cartoons for small children Use real pictures for older children
Make sure the room is visually consistent and that it is free from clutter Being organized in an art room can be challenging, but organization will help all of the students! Label areas for turning in work, accessing materials, etc.
You should have something consistent that thestudent can look for when they come to art.
I have two binders full ofpecs that I have madeover the last 5 years.To make a binder:1. Three hole punch and laminate cardstock pages2. Get soft Velcro and put 5 pieces on a page3. Create pecs or picture pages in 1.5 inch squares4. Cut them out5. Laminate the squares, cut them out and put prickly Velcro on the back.
Some studentsneed to bereminded of whatis next!I would put Art inthe first box andafter that willdepend on thestudents schedule.
Steps for aprojectIn Boardmaker, thetemplate is called asentence strip. I don’thave enough spaces foreach and every step so Isimplify the steps. I put inorder the steps/materialsthe students should belooking to use. Once theyhave completed a step, thestudents will remove thepicture and put it into the“all done” pocket at theend of the strip.
Technology Supports Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker classroom materials such as schedules, worksheets, reading and writing activities, game and song boards, communication boards, books and more. Boardmaker is a software program that uses clip art consisting of picture communication symbols (http://www.mayer- johnson.com/). Slater Publications Picture-It Picture-It is software designed for use by both adults and individual with ASD to adapt the written environment. This product allows the user to visually represent words for ease of reading and increasing comprehension (http://www.slatersoftware.com/pit.html).
Resources: http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/ www.speakingofspeech.com www.boardmakershare.com firstname.lastname@example.org The End!! Questions?