Friday, March 12, 2010

Linda Hodgdon and Visual Supports

An essential autism library should include Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Linda Hodgdon M.Ed. CCC-SLP.  Parents of a child with ASD and every teacher or SLP working with children who have ASD should own this book and use the ideas in it often to create visual supports.  A visual support is simply a visual way of explaining some essential bit of information to a child who might otherwise not understand or remember.  The most common visual support used in schools and perhaps in homes as well is a visual schedule which shows a child what he or she will be doing over the next ten minutes, hour, or day.  I recently posted an example of a Car Schedule on Autism Games and several parents reported back that the car schedule has reduced temper tantrums in the car miraculously.  Making and using visual supports is something that parents or teachers may learn to do but then in the busy life we all live, forget to keep doing.  In the same way that you might need reminders to keep eating your fruits and vegetables, it is good to get reminders to keep making visual supports so Linda Hodgdon has made a newsletter available online to help us remember. 

Ms. Hodgdon's most current newsletter demonstrated how to make and use a visual support for children who have a favorite item of clothing and get upset when that item goes in the wash and a different item must be worn.  I did not even finish reading the rest of the newsletter before I created that visual for one of my clients.  Yesterday, his grandma was asking how to help her grandson through the trauma of washing his Tomas the Train shirt.  I said I would come up with something and then my beloved Linda Hodgdon sent out her newsletter and provided a perfect solution.  Now that is service!

No comments: