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Tuesday 21 Nov 2017

Visual supports for supporting positive behavior

Many children with autism understand better when they see something versus just hearing it. There are many ways that you can support positive behavior for your child by providing visual information around the house. Placing a stop sign on the inside of the front door to keep your child safely inside, attaching pictures of snack options to the refrigerator door to reduce frustration while making a choice or marking dates on the calendar to help prepare your child for special events are all examples of simple ways to support positive behavior.

If your child is using a voice output communication device, these same strategies can be implemented onto their system. AAC devices clarify concepts in a concrete and visual way. By providing access to visual supports on a communication device, your child will be able to:
• Self-monitor their behavior by receiving feedback from the device
• Have access to their behavior support tools no matter where they are
• Receive both visual and auditory information in challenging environments

Communication devices such as the Maestro and Xpress have several pre-made pages that support positive behavior. These communication pages provide both visual and auditory information to help children understand when situations are difficult or confusing. Listed below are three ways that visual information can be displayed on a communication device to support positive behavior.

Contingency Maps are a visual strategy used to support positive behavior. Contingency Maps depict the antecedent that typically triggers a problem behavior, the problem behavior, and the consequences that will follow if it occurs. In addition, a functionally-related (desired) alternative behavior and the consequences that will follow if it occurs are also included on the map.

First-Then charts are a visual schedule strategy that identifies the sequence of a task. For example, if your child needs to eat their dinner before they can have a cookie, the first-then chart would provide a visual representation of – First eat dinner – Then get a cookie.

Visual rules and instructions provide clear and concrete expectations and encourage simple, routine communication about those expectations. The example below shows a “no kicking” rule and the consequence that will occur if kicking takes place (no TV).

To learn more about behavioral supports, visit the Autism and AAC Learning Path on the DynaVox Implementation Toolkit.
http://www.dynavoxtech.com/implementation-toolkit/learning-paths/list/?id=10

Article by: Stephanie Williams, MS CCC-SLP

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