Lots of people including those with sensory difficulties can struggle at times with communication issues and following routines and knowing what’s happening now and next, here are how visual aids can change your life and your routine. Visual aids can help to provide structure and routine for these people. Providing structure and routine can help us to avoid frustrations and anxieties. They have also been proven to improve understanding and encourage independence. Visual aids can be portable and adaptable and therefore used in many different situations. Helping people to develop coping strategies to manage and organise their day.
Visual Aids can have a positive effect on behaviour by reducing anxieties and frustrations. Making it easier to understand and follow what is happening.
Here are how visual aids can change your life!
What Are Visual Aids?
Visual aids are things that help us with communication and completing tasks in everyday life. They can be in the form of words, pictures or symbols and can be as basic or as detailed as you need. You can get many different types of visual aids. They can be bought online, from shops and you can even make them yourself.
An example of some visual aids are calendars, reward charts, routine charts, choice boards, sequences, emotion fans, social stories, labels and schedules.
What Makes A Good Visual Aid?
A good visual aid should be easy to follow. If it is too complicated it won’t work. It should also be personalised to the user; for example, if it is a routine chart the pictures should show familiar brands or places that are unique to the individual. You should keep your visual aids consistent, you might need lots of different visual aids for different things and keeping them consistent makes them easier to follow.
Visual aids should be durable as they are going to be used a lot! If you make them yourself it’s a good idea to laminate them so that they last longer. Using things like velcro to stick and unstick is also very popular when it comes to making visual aids. Finally, it is important that your visual aids are portable, this way you can use them when you are out and about, at home, at school or at work. Smartphones and tablets can be very handy this.
Tomtag is an award-winning visual support system inspired by Tomas, a young autistic boy. With a unique and innovative design, this communication tool helps people develop coping strategies to manage their day, using structure, organisation and predictability – at home, at school, at work and when out and about. TomTag has a positive effect on behaviour by reducing anxieties and frustrations and making it easier for people to understand, follow and remember what they need to do. Tomtags are visual support that people love to use!
How Has TomTags Helped Me?
TomTags have helped me and my family massively. With two autistic children who really struggle with their executive functioning, I find it really hard to make sure everyone is organised and ready on time. We have tried visual timetables before and to some extent, they have been helpful. The reason TomTags have the edge here is that they don’t look childish, they are portable and they are long-lasting. You can change your routine as much as you need to and you can buy more packs to add if needed.
Back to how TomTags have helped …
My children struggle to remember what they have to do and what they are doing next. I am constantly having to remind both of them what they need to do. This happens mostly in the mornings, the evenings and after school. Using TomTags gives them the independence to complete their own routines. I still go through the routine with them and explain what they need to do but then they can take the reins and get themselves dressed and ready, or showered and into bed. They have been really helpful for tasks that others take for granted, such as packing bags ready for school the next day and completing homework. This then has the knock-on effect of no detentions because they haven’t forgotten books or failed to complete homework!
Words can be abstract and hard to retain, whilst visuals are easier to recall. Visual Aids have a massive impact on how children learn and retain information. Plus visuals are much more engaging. So it really is a no brainer than visual aids work well for those of us who are or on the spectrum or have a neurodiverse brain. It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are we all use visuals to plan our schedules and stay organised. Visuals work!
We hope you have enjoyed this blog on how visual aids can change your life. If you want some life-changing visual aids, Why Not Buy Some Tom Tags Now!
If you want any more support, please consider joining our Sensory Support Group on Facebook