Does the Creating and Implementing Visual Supports Feel Overwhelming?

Hi Amanda, 

You asked me a question several weeks ago in class…do I feel overwhelmed with all the visual supports and communication interventions? In retrospect, I feel you are entitled to a more thorough response. I used to feel overwhelmed, and sometimes I still feel overwhelmed

I have learned to prioritize in very small increments, by isolating the essential pieces and then building into the existing system or creating new visual supports slowly. When I was working in the capacity of the classroom teacher the staff and I integrated and used visual communication intervention throughout all contexts of the day, consistently. Communication supports were physically accessible in the areas where activities occured… a natural component of our experiences together as a learning community.

Also, I learned over time to focus energy on developing visual strategies for one target goal at a time,  implementation towards the target goal, and for one student at a time and then to systemically move forward. It requires choreography on a time continuum.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I need to produce in behalf of students that I do not provide direct service to …then I must rely on the performance of the staff to inplement the practice. I become frustrated when I do not have adequate time to create visual supports for the direct service I provide. My favorite teachers are the ones who are genuinely engaged with students with ASD and implement interventions consistently.

I really feel overwhelmed when I look in my car, my garage, my closets and attic, and see tubs of visual tools! I have been servicing a very large district, in and out of buildings and classrooms, for a very long time! LOL I like being focused on one person or one group in a very direct and effective manner, then everyone wins! I also like data that demonstrates results!

Respectfully,

Mary

About Mary

Hi! I have been providing services for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ages 3 through age 27, for twenty years. I also teach teachers and other professionals strategies and interventions to improve and develop communication skills, social understanding skills, and replacement of stereotypical behaviors. I try to create an awareness and empathic response with professionals working with families and caregivers living with the unique differences and challenges of ASD. My other goals include educating the public about ASD. ASD is a label that provides a common ground for discussing treatment, strategies, and other interventions to help the child or person. The label is not the child and vice-versa. Over the years I have observed many children develop communication skills, experience social success, and decrease and change stereotypical behavior into productivity. The children I work with are unique and wonderous. Like you and I they have specific interests and strengths that are valuable assets to their Quality of Life.
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