Visuals are a necessity when supporting children with special needs.
I recently wrote a blog post for Especially Education all about the importance of using visuals in the classroom. You can read that post here.
One of the most significant areas where visuals can be helpful, are in assisting with the development of PLAY SKILLS.
For many children with Autism and related disorders, play is HARD. It feels like work. These children often prefer to play with toys in their own way and often have difficulty engaging spontaneously with peers.
This is where visual supports come in handy.
By providing children with a visual, it allows them to better process language. Visuals also assist with the recall of actions and provide an opportunity for sustained attention to a task.
My Pretend Play Visual Cards were created to assist with teaching children to play independently and imaginatively with toys.
These cards provide children with six different play actions per activity.
Using these visuals allows both parents and educators to assist with the development of this crucial skill.
Board games are another area where children can struggle when developing effective play skills.
This is due in part to the fact that games often require social interaction.
When introducing board games, it is important to initially provide your child with exposure to the game. Use this opportunity to model and rehearse gameplay, without requiring them to successfully play the game by the rules. Once your child is familiar with the game and understands how to play, you can then begin to introduce another child into the exchange.
You can further support gameplay with my Board Game Visual Mats, which provide children with language and visuals to accompany your favorite games.
These mats were designed so the outer ring of visuals can be used in conjunction with ANY game
and the mini-visual mats (which fit in the center) provide game-specific support for 8 popular board games.
Get your copy of these visual supports for play by clicking on the pictures below!