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Helpful Hints: Using Visuals around the House

    I have a first grader. Since March 13 when Ohio schools shuttered their doors, we have spent every waking moment together. I am very thankful that we are healthy and we have the means to participate in the emergency need to school at home; however, do you ever think this thought:

    “If I have to ask them to *insert task here* one more time I will lose my mind!?!”

    I pleaded numerous times daily- “Will you PLEASE flush the toilet? Will you PLEASE wash your hands for 20 seconds!? PLEASE SHUT OFF THE LIGHT.”

    Then it hit me. He needed a visual reminder, a visual script for the task.

    1. Flush toilet
    2. Wash hands
    3. Turn off lights

    This now ragged visual hangs in my bathrooms. Maybe it will remind guests to wash their hands when they come to visit (later this year hopefully)? Here are some other useful visuals I created:

    Do you need a break too? Me too.

    Here is a reminder of what a clean room looks like. Do you like the little crinkle in the paper? Someone did not like the meaning of what a clean room looked like at first.

    Visuals benefit us all in our daily lives, especially our children. Why use visuals? Visuals:

    • Strengthen and remind listeners of the auditory tasks

    • Serve as a memory aids (for me too!)

    • Assist with word retrieval

    • Reduce the need for multiple auditory cues (which drive me bonkers)

    Within the speech, language and overall communication realm, visuals support the learning and internalization of these skills and much more:

    • Learning and internalizing new vocabulary

    • Following directions

    • Various social skills (e.g. how to ride in the car, how to play with your pets, expected behavior at dentist/doctor/restaurants)

    • Sequencing tasks

    • Sentence structure

    • Promotes self awareness of the task

    When creating a visual, do your best to use brief wording paired with pictures. Tell the intended recipient of the visual aid what you want them to do. Give them some examples, like the “what does my break look like” – Doing the task looks like X, Y, and Z.

    Keep it short and sweet.

    Do you have any visuals around your house? What simple scripts can you think of to help your child learn a new skill?