Simple Start: Visual Supports for Places We Go
No matter where they work, SLPs supporting people who use AAC generally do what they can to improve communication across environments. In an earlier Simple Start post, we talked about using photos of places within a school to support language comprehension. By showing a picture of the cafeteria or gym as we say those words, we can help both students with language processing difficulties and those with behavior regulation issues.
In this post, we extend the same concept to travels in and around the community. Here are directions for making visual supports that can be used with students who have community-based instruction or by families as they go about their weekly errands and routines.
Simple Start: Visual Support for Places in the Community
- Take photo of locations in the community that the AAC user is likely to visit.
- Insert them into a document and add labels for each one (e.g., Walgreen’s, Dr. Witton’s Office, Mommy’s Work, Fern Forest Park)
- Print and laminate
- Use them with aided language input whenever you are talking about those places, especially when you are getting ready to go to those locations.
- Remember to take it with you when you leave home/the classroom so that you can continue to use it to show the communicators where they are headed when you are ready to return.
Simple Start Tips
- Create a template for this type of visual support that works for you. Save it so that you can use this later and customize it for other purposes.
- Use whatever format seems best for the communicator, such as a communication board, book, wallet, or ring. Remember that this will have to be portable.
Simple Start Resources: A PowerPoint Template
Here’s a prAACtical resource that you can use. We like using PowerPoint for these because it makes it easy to print in a variety of formats.
- Full size slides are good for addressing a large group or for individuals with visual attention or acuity problems.
- By printing the handout version, you can vary the number of slides per page so that each image is smaller. This works well for a portable picture ring.
Filed under: PrAACtical Thinking
This post was written by Carole Zangari