Improving Communication with Visual Strategies
By Linda Hodgdon, M.Ed., CCC-SLP
Are you frustrated by the inevitable communication breakdowns and behavior difficulties that occur regularly with your most challenging students? Then this is the book for you!!!
Don’t let the title fool you.
This book is packed with lots of samples & examples of visual tools that have worked for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and lots of other students with moderate to severe communication or behavior challenges.
This is what we know. . .
Communication and behavior are intertwined. Using visual strategies to improve communication can significantly improve behavior situations./p>
In Solving Behavior Problems in Autism you will learn to:
- Identify causes of behavior challenges
- Understand the behavior-communication-visual strategy link
- Use the Guide for Assessing Behavior Situations
- Use visual strategies to change behavior
“I love the “easy-to-follow” format of Linda Hodgdon’s books. Solving Behavior Problems in Autism contains concrete, functional, “easy-to-put-in-place” ideas for managing behavior. Great techniques to provide consistency, prediction, and visual language for children and adults who struggle with auditory input. Thank you Linda Hodgdon for providing us with tools to improve the lives of our students and their families.” Julia Ringler, teacher
What is it?
- A unique resource with a unique perspective.
- A book packed with information to make life easier for students, parents, and educators.
- A large collection of samples and examples of visual tools and other communication strategies that have made a significant difference for students with communication and behavior challenges.
- A “how-to” book designed to assist in devising solutions to the behavior challenges that are common in students with autism spectrum disorders or other behavior and communication challenges.
Why did you write this book?
Because behavior challenges are so challenging! Parents and educators frequently become frustrated and exhausted from dealing with behavior challenges. Students are often overwhelmed by the challenges and demands facing them. Life can get better. This book provides lots of help.
Who is this book for?
Teachers, parents, Speech Therapists and others who live with and program for students with autism spectrum disorders will benefit. But, don’t be fooled by the title of the book. The information in this book is also appropriate for those who deal with any other students with communication and behavior challenges.
The cover says:
Strategies for: Autism, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger’s Syndrome, Communication Disorder, Fragile X, Attention Deficit Disorder, Behavior Disorder, Learning Disability, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Language Delay or Disorder, comprehension Problems, Auditory Processing Disorder, Hearing Impairment, Aphasia, Developmental Delay, Emotional Impairment, Speech Disorder, Mental Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Down Syndrome, Multi-handicapped, Bilingual and more…
What is the book about?
It is not unusual for students with autism spectrum disorders or other communication challenges to demonstrate behavior differences or behavior problems. Dealing with those behavior issues can be one of the most challenging aspects of parenting and teaching these students. The familiar and typical strategies used with other students may or may not work with this population. Without taking the time to understand the bigger picture . . .discovering the causes of the behavior difficulties . . . intervention attempts can result in a continuous pattern of reacting to isolated incidents rather than developing a plan or approach that will produce better long term outcomes.
But, discovering causes of difficulties is only half of the answer. Finding some ways to deal with the behavior challenges is the other half. This book helps you discover how. It is packed full of very practical, easy to use techniques that really work.
Tell me more…
There are as many approaches to teaching and educating children as there are people. The results of those approaches range from satisfying and successful to frustrating and failing. Students with autism spectrum disorders frequently learn differently from their peers. Therefore, the techniques for teaching skills and managing behavior situations may need to be modified. The majority of these students tend to be visual learners. Considering the learning style of this population, the focus of visual strategies to solve behavior problems is a natural consideration.
These are the links: behavior-communication-visual strategies.
- The causes of behavior differences are frequently related to communication difficulties: problems in understanding and/or difficulty with expression
- The remedy to improve behavior is improving communication
- The method is using visual strategies to support communication
Communication emerges as an integral part of the problem, or it evolves as an essential part of the solution. The development of visually supported communication or visually mediated communication strategies becomes a significant source for improving communication for these students. Frequently, the improvement in behavior is directly related to improvement in communication; particularly the ability to understand.
Visual tools and supports help create an environment that makes the student’s communication/social/behavior difficulties less likely to occur. When analyzing situations where behavior problems occur it becomes obvious that many of them are the result of a student not understanding what is going on in his life. It is common to assume that students understand. In reality, many times they don’t. The purpose of using these aids is to enhance the student’s understanding of what is happening in his life and what is expected of him. Once he understands, he is more apt to comply with the demands of the setting. It does not matter if a student is verbal or non-verbal. The primary purpose of these tools is to support communication to the student. They are used to give information, provide structure, or accomplish numerous other purposes. There are numerous ways that visual tools can be used to support students.
Are these techniques just for students with autism?
NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! Working with students who have autism spectrum disorders can be very challenging. Some of their behavior difficulties may appear more complicated or severe than other students. When we discover what really works well with these students, we end up with some effective tools that will work for most other students, too.
Excerpt from the book:
Students with autism spectrum disorders experience communication difficulties that significantly affect their social interactions, behavior, and overall participation in daily activities. The real bottom line is this: These students tend to be visual learners living in a very auditory world. Because they are easily frustrated and often misunderstood, their behavior is frequently not like that of other students. Sometimes they do not understand what to do or how to do what other students do. Sometimes they try to control the world using behaviors and strategies other students don’t usually need to use.
In attempting to sort out the challenges, we discover a comparative learning strength. These students tend to understand what they see better than what they hear. Simple logic says teach to their strength. Using that strength helps compensate for their weaknesses. Hence visual strategies. Most important: Using visual strategies works! These techniques work for verbal students. They work for non-verbal students. High or low skilled students both benefit from visual supports that are designed to match their level of capability. Visual tools and supports are not a magic Band-Aid that will fix every problem that these students have, but they will provide a valuable framework to support their lives. Implementing a system of visual tools and supports significantly reduces various behavior problems and increases effective communication interactions for most students. Using visual tools and supports makes a difference. . .a huge difference. Frequently the successful functioning of students with autism will come from the implementation of lots of small pieces that eventually work together to create an effective communication system. The principle of visually supported communication is simple, however the impact on the functioning of most students with autism is profound.
Does this book have the same information as the book Visual Strategies for Improving Communication?
Visual Strategies for Improving Communication is the first book in the Visual Strategies Series. Solving Behavior Problems in Autism is the second book in the series. It follows the same format as the first book, however, it is packed with additional information and lots of new samples and examples.
How will I benefit?
- Discover the link between communication breakdowns and behavior challenges
- Learn to use the Guide for Assessing Behavior Situations
- Develop skills to become a better communication partner
- Learn how to use visual tools to solve difficult situations and meet the communication needs of students
- View lots of examples of visual tools that have been used successfully to improve communication and solve behavior problems
“. . .this book was desperately needed yesterday, and is an essential tool for any teacher or parent working with a child on the autism spectrum. This is a MUST HAVE!” — Horizons
“Besides explaining how to lessen behavioral problems, this book teaches you to understand the root of the behavior which means you can apply your new found knowledge in endless ways. This book is based a lot on using visual strategies to improve communication skills, understanding and self management. Their are clear and useful guidelines for everything like how to communicate “NO” and proper ways to express emotions. . .The book is literally overflowing with great information and ideas. Teachers, parents and caregivers will benefit greatly from the information. . . I am grateful for the new approaches it has given me for improving my son’s everyday life.” Katie Nelson
Solving Behavior Problems in Autism
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