Lightening, Thunder, & Rain Oh My!

August 25, 2012 by - 2 Comments

Lightening, Thunder, Rain, Oh My!
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We live in Florida and there are lots of general summer storms. They can be very loud and dark.  There are also many hurricane warnings (like now for Hurricane Isaac).  Many children and adults with communication challenges can become upset or anxious because of the loud noises, the change in routines, and/or the heightened state of anxiety that is usually around the house or community. Because of this we are often asked to help find visual support resources. Here are some great prepared visual support stories and resources that we use:

Bad Weather Tips and Story by Hands in Autism

Hurricane Preparedness

More Hurricane Preparedness

Thunder/Lightning Storms

Thunder Box


Sometimes though the prepared supports do not meet the needs for specific learners. Here are our tips for developing your own storm visual supports and resources


Creating Personal Participation Stories

  • Use language of the story that is at the level of the learner
  • Use picture symbol support for the text of the story
  • Write about possible or known problems for the specific learner with the event, activity, or experience (i.e., the noise, the fact that you can not go outside to play, etc)
  • Write about possible solutions for the specific learner with the event, activity, or experience (i.e., you can wear headphones and listen to music to not hear the storm, etc)
  • Use non-specific language (i.e., ‘probably’, ‘will try’, ‘may’, ‘about’ –vs- ‘will’, ‘must’, ‘have to’)
  • Conclude on a positive note

Creating Visual Support Resources

  • Use choice boards for things you can do inside during a storm
  • Use a monthly calendar to show when you probably can have a ‘make up’ for any event that got cancelled
  • Relaxation ‘bag’ with relaxing objects (i.e., stress ball, massager, etc) and visual instructions for relaxing activities (i.e., yoga, deep breathing, etc.)
  • Feelings board to ‘vent’ about any anxiety
  • Storm ‘bag’/’box’ with special things that can be used inside during a storm and supplies for a storm (i.e., extra batteries, favorite books, music player, etc.)
  • Any other visual support that gives the learner information or allows them to express their thoughts
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This post was written by Robin Parker


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