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Pictures are Powerful


We live in a visual world! All around us we pay attention to and take meaning from what we see, e.g. a stop sign, no smoking sign, wifi symbol etc. Using visuals is a fantastic way to help develop a child or young person’s communication skills, especially understanding of language. A visual is something that we see and use as a way to give information, e.g. an object, gestures, a photograph, a line drawing or written words.
Visuals help support understanding as they are concrete pieces of information that a child can see. This gives them more information to “hook” onto, in that as well as hearing the information, they can also see it.
 
Tops tips to remember when using visuals:-
 
  • Visuals should be used to support what you are saying. It is important to use ones that are meaningful and appropriate for your child. E.g. for babies and young children it’s more appropriate to use objects and gestures, but for older children we would written words as visual support.
  • It is important when using visuals to say the word as well as showing the visual e.g. if you are changing a babies nappy you might say “nappy” and show them the new nappy at the same time.
  • Visuals can help children deal with situations that they don’t like or find challenging e.g using a sandtimer or visual routine.
  • Be natural, try adding the visuals into your typical interaction with your child. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the visuals you would like. You can support spoken language in other ways, e.g. emphasising key words, slowing down and reducing your language.

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