Visual supports are a communication tool that present information using symbols, photographs, written words, or objects. Visual supports are particularly helpful for children who may have challenges in their comprehension (understanding what is being said) or organisational challenges (organising their thoughts or body to execute a task).
A visual schedule is one of the most common visual supports. This is a set of pictures that show activities or steps in activities. For example a visual schedule of the sequence of eating a meal. Some children also may have visual schedules as a routine for their overall day.
Visual supports can help to:
- Provide structure and routine
- Support regulation
- Support organisation
- Encourage independence
- Improve understanding
- Reduce frustration and anxiety (by reducing the fear of what could come next)
- Provide opportunities to interact with other people