Visual supports are a communication tool commonly used by autistic people. They are adaptable for use in most situations, and can help children and young people to engage in daily routines and activities including outdoor play.
Common visual supports include:
- Choice boards
- Key phrase symbols
- Task analysis
- Social narratives
- First-then sequences
- Emotion thermometers
These are typically accessed in the form of physical objects (e.g. flipbooks), printed images, or on a smart device.
Visual supports can be used in outdoor play to:
- Support social interaction
- Provide structure and routine
- Avoid frustration and anxiety
- Promote independence and autonomy
- Build confidence
- Improve understanding
- Give prompts and play cues
- Display playground behaviour and rules
The National Autistic Society recommends making visual supports portable, durable, easy to find, personalised and consistent.
When creating your own visual supports it is important to adapt them to the needs of the individual.
Read our case studies for examples of how Middletown staff have used visual aids to support outdoor play.
Please click to view and download the following visual supports:
Read previous: ← Top Tips for outdoor play