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Visual Strategies for Improving Communication:
Practical Supports for School and Home

by Linda Hodgdon

Item: 9780961678616

Format: softcover

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. It is full of easy to use techniques and strategies that will help these students participate more effectively in social interactions and life routines.

What is it?

  • A groundbreaking resource
  • Contains dozens of samples of visual supports that are beautifully illustrated and described
  • An exceptional collection of practical ideas and techniques
  • Filled with creative strategies for improving the behavior and communication of students with autism, ADHD, cognitive impairments, language and learning disabilities and more.
  • A “how to” book designed to assist teachers, SLP’s, parents, and others in devising solutions to the communication and self-management challenges that are common in these students

Who is this book for?

Teachers, parents, Speech Pathologists and other people who work and live with students with autism spectrum disorders or other communication challenges. The strategies in this book have application for students with a variety of disability labels and special needs.

What is the book about?

One of the major areas of difficulty for students with autism spectrum disorders is the development of social and communication skills. Communication breakdowns can be a “root” cause of problems in social interaction, educational performance, and behaviour. 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. Comparatively little attention is directed toward increasing the student’s ability to understand the communication in his life. This book demonstrates why an inability to effectively take in and understand information can be a significant factor in these students performance. 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 behaviour.

Tell me more …

It is commonly recognised that communication is one of the primary areas of difficulty for persons who experience autism. 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. Organising, sequencing, and remembering what to do or when to do it can all cause problems. Stepping out of familiar environments and routines increases stress. 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 recognised that most individuals who experience autism display a relative strength in visual skills. Capitalising on that strength, the use of visual strategies to support communication has provided the structure necessary to substantially alter many problem situations.

How are the students helped?

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 is accomplished in part by developing a system of visual tools and aids to increase communication effectiveness. 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. A second goal, improving student independence and participation, is met with the presence of visual tools.

What is in the book?

This book offers a comprehensive collection of visual tools that have proven successful with students of varying ages and ability levels. It contains:

  • Lots of samples & examples of visual tools & how to use them
  • Tons of ideas for improving communication in school and home environments
  • Assessment for community participation
  • Guide for planning communication tools
  • Plenty of ideas for integrating visual strategies into the student’s lives and lots more …

How will I benefit from the book?

  • Learn more about the learning and functioning style of these students
  • Understand how communication break-downs affect student understanding, performance and behaviour
  • View lots of samples and examples of visual tools that have been used to improve student communication
  • Learn step-by-step how to develop and use visual tools to meet the individual needs of your students

… plus lots of ideas for improving communication in home, school, and community environments

Publisher Comments:

This book is “easy-reading”. It is laid out with a question-answer format that is not full of the heavy technical jargon that is common in so many books on special needs. It has rapidly become a bestseller because it has met the needs of thousands of Speech Therapists, classroom teachers, parents and others who work or live with students with autism, autism spectrum disorders and other communication disorders. Visual Strategies for Improving Communication is the most comprehensive book available on the topic of using visual supports to improve communication for these student populations.

“… an excellent resource … it has been exactly what we needed … the specific examples assisted us to develop some very creative systems that have been highly effective for many of our students. The information and specifics can be used by a beginner or a more experienced service provider. … This is a resource that should be on every Speech-Language Pathologist‘s shelf.”
- ASHA Leader

“… Students with autism or similar problems … may learn differently from other people, and a much overlooked means of communicating to these students is through a highly visual system … Visual Strategies for Improving Communication takes over where other education books leave off, by explaining in detail the importance of visual communication for people with learning, sensory, and processing difficulties. … This is a book that was needed yesterday, and is a must have for anyone who works with people who have learning and developmental disabilities. …”
- Horizons

Visual Strategies for Improving Communication is an essential resource. It is unique in its clarity, practicality and creativity. As a researcher and clinician who has focused on understanding the unique learning and communication styles of students with autism, I enthusiastically recommend this book to professionals and parents at every opportunity. Through this volume, Linda Hodgdon has made a significant difference for children and their families.”
- Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Director, Childhood Communication Services, Brown University

“Firmly grounded in theory and research, Hodgdon’s book is unique in the sheer volume of intervention strategies, examples and illustrations it contains. It is well organised, easy to follow, and reader friendly … This book is a ‘must have’ …”
- Kathleen S. Pistono, Ph.D., Speech & Language Consultant

“Comprehensive in scope, exceptional in quality - Visual Strategies for Improving Communication, Volume I is a ‘must have’ resource for professionals and parents alike. Bring on Volume II!”
- Diane Twachtman-Cullen, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Executive Director, Autism & Developmental Disabilities Consultation Center

You can e-mail your order to products@spedsg.com,
fill up an order form and fax to (65) 6899 8477,
or call (65) 6899 8377.