Video of the Week: Visual Supports on the Fly

October 28, 2015 by - 2 Comments

Video of the Week: Visual Supports on the Fly
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For several years, we’ve written many posts on the use of visual supports with AAC learners. One thing we haven’t talked about, though, is what to do when you’re in the midst of therapy or a lesson, and the need for an additional visual support arises.

In this week’s featured video, SLP Shannon Hennig does an amazing job of explaining how she improvises to make visual supports on the fly. Like you, I appreciate the plethora of visual supports that have been appearing on Teachers Pay Teachers, SLP blogs, materials exchange sites, and Pinterest. Most of them are just adorable, some of them are well-designed, and all of them make using visual supports more convenient for busy professionals and families.

In the end, though, the best visual supports are the ones that meet the needs of the situations. And, while we do our best to predict what will be needed and prepare for that in advance, it doesn’t always work out. Interactions are organic, and language therapy is messy. We go into a session thinking it will go one way, then, boom! A very different opportunity for communication teaching presents itself. Stick with the well-organized plan or improvise and follow the learner’s lead? It depends on the situation, of course, but when our clinical instincts tell us to follow the learner, we need visual supports to navigate this new territory.

How can we manage that and still keep the session running? Luckily, Shannon has some wonderful tips for us. Enjoy!

Video of the Week: Visual Supports on the Fly


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This post was written by Carole Zangari


  • Thank you Carole for the lovely words.

    I still feel very intimidated by the amazing prep other speech therapists do (and I never seem to get to myself). It is nice to hear that my last minute, in the moment, unplanned, messy ideas aren’t completely off base…

  • Lisa Weir says:

    Although I had a bit of difficulty with the sound level in the video (it was like a reverse slope hearing loss – I was only hearing high frequency sounds!), it was fantastic! Lovely, practical ideas and scenarios she demonstrated literally “on the fly” that I thought could be used in 1:1 or small group sessions but also to help in-service classroom teachers on how they can easily use visual supports through their day, which will help ALL students, not just students with speech/language difficulties/hearing loss, etc. The sticky notes app is amazing. Thank you for this Shannon!

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