What is a visual support? any type of visual item (photographs, pictures, written words, clipart, physical objects) that gives a desired expectation and helps the child to perform a specific skill or behavior. It can also be a combination of these visual items.
Purpose: To help the child visualize the task, reduce anxiety about the task, stay on task and transition to next activity easier. Let’s talk about those for a second. Visual supports give your child that concrete instruction that maybe they can’t remember what they need to do. So visual supports work well with visual learners. This helps children know what activities can be anticipated, when the activities will occur, and the order of activities. Visual supports may also be used to provide information regarding unusual activities or a change in the schedule. This reduces anxiety about anything new coming up. They want to know what their day looks like. When they get to have free time. A schedule or visual support let’s them see exactly when that fun activity is coming up. This makes work time less of a drudgery. Lastly it helps children to stay on task. When they get distracted, they can see what comes next (maybe it’s a fun activity) and they are excited to finish up this task and move on.
Why would I use a visual support? We all use some type of visual support even as an adult. (sticky notes on the refrigerator, chalkboard of our to do list, etc.). Let’s give our kids the extra help they need to stay on task, stay focused and feel less anxious.
Strategy 2: Sit on a bouncy ball
Often times when we are listening to a podcast or a friend talk on the phone, we often will keep ourselves busy by doodling, moving around in our seat, tapping our finger/hand/feet, or even making a to do list. Think about your child and how they feel if they have to sit for long periods of time and listen to a topic they are not interested in. This can be especially challenging for students who already have attention problems, and are expected to listen without moving or fidgeting. It is estimated that up to 1 in 20 children in the U.S. and approximately 5.9% of school age children worldwide have a diagnosis of attention problems.
Research shows that sitting on a bouncy ball while working on assignments can help the child focus longer.
Helps to improve learning.
In our part 2 series of “How to help your child focus on homework” we will cover 2 more strategies that can help your child at home.
And remember…we are
Better together, stronger together, and always connected together.