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ERIC Number: EJ901999
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-0040-0599
Learning through Seeing and Doing: Visual Supports for Children with Autism
Rao, Shaila M.; Gagie, Brenda
TEACHING Exceptional Children, v38 n6 p26-33 Jul-Aug 2006
Autism is a life-long, complex developmental disorder that causes impairment in the way individuals process information. Autism belongs to heterogeneous categories of developmental disabilities where neurological disorders lead to deficits in a child's ability to communicate, understand language, play, develop social skills, and relate to others. Children with autism face challenges such as using language, using words creatively, using imagination, and, later, thinking abstractly. These challenges significantly affect understanding and using language for communication. Because of increasing awareness of the number of cases of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) there is a push to obtain information about how to help children with autism. Although there is no one best program or one best way of helping children with autism, the importance of using supports based on concrete and visual teaching aids is largely upheld. Visual supports can be provided in different ways in all settings: (1) school; (2) home; (3) work; and (4) community. Visual supports help bring in structure, routine, and sequence that many children with autism need to be able to carry on their daily activities. Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related-Communication-Handicapped Children (TEACCH), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Social Stories developed by Carol Gray are some of the visual approaches available to help children with autism achieve their potential in every aspect of life. This article offers practical ideas for teachers and parents based on combinations of these visual approaches. Visual supports developed from simple and inexpensive everyday materials to inexpensive games are used successfully to enhance processing ability and teach social skills, play skills, academic skills, and communication skills to children with autism in elementary grades. (Contains 2 tables, 3 boxes, and 12 photos.)
Council for Exceptional Children. 1110 North Glebe Road Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22201. Tel: 888-232-7733; Fax: 703-264-9494; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Parents; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A