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One of the major areas of difficulty for students with autism spectrum disorders is the development of social and communication skills. This bestseller is the most comprehensive book to explain the use of visual strategies to improve communication for students with autism spectrum disorders and other students who experience moderate to severe communication impairments. While most educational strategies focus on developing the student's expressive communication, comparatively little attention is directed toward increasing the student's ability to understand the communication in his life. It is full of easy to use techniques and strategies that will help these students participate more effectively in social interactions and life routines. Teachers, parents, Speech Therapists and other people who work and live with students with autism spectrum disorders or other communication challenges.
The first goal when working with these students is to create an environment that will support communication and make communication breakdowns less likely to occur. This book offers a comprehensive collection of visual tools that have proven successful with students of varying ages and ability levels. The strategies in this book have application for students with a variety of disability labels and special needs.

This is accomplished in part by developing a system of visual tools and aids to increase communication effectiveness. While it is common for educational programming to focus on developing communication skills, that focus in most settings tends to be directed toward developing the student’s expressive communication. Schedules, aids to give directions, and aids to give information, and aids to establish and communicate rules are tools designed to increase the student’s understanding of what is happening around him. Comparatively little attention is directed toward increasing the student’s ability to understand the communication in his life. It is commonly recognized that communication is one of the primary areas of difficulty for persons who experience autism.
A second goal, improving student independence and participation, is met with the presence of visual tools. This book demonstrates why an inability to effectively take in and understand information can be a significant factor in these student’s performance. Understanding the communication of others, trying to figure out what is happening or not happening, handling changes and transitions, and interpreting cues and signals in the environment can all be areas of difficulty for this population.

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication contains numerous easy to use systems and strategies that have proven to help these students significantly improve their ability to understand, express themselves, participate in home and school routines and improve overall behavior.
Organizing, sequencing, and remembering what to do or when to do it can all cause problems. The frustration of not understanding can lead students to ritual and rigidity and a lack of flexibility with change.
In the midst of these areas of difficulty, it is recognized that most individuals who experience autism display a relative strength in visual skills.
Capitalizing on that strength, the use of visual strategies to support communication has provided the structure necessary to substantially alter many problem situations.

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