According to Barker, J. (2001), people with autism often have language and attention issues which interfere with their ability to learn from verbal explanations alone. Visual aids, becomes a useful tool to back up verbal explanation.
This is because visual pictures (p.xiii)
- can make abstract verbal concepts more concrete
- remain stable over time while auditory information can be missed as students’ attention fluctuates, and
- provide a more powerful means to engage attention
I first talk about the ‘The Social Skills Picture Book‘ in June last year when I first started out my blog. This book, by Barker, uses a visual strategy to teach social skills.
Oh, God. Not Another Book About Autism.
This is the opening introduction of Kim’s book. My close girlfriend gave me this book as a birthday gift. She felt that I could handle the book (pun intended). I loved it! I finished the book within two days of receiving it and in order to do that, I brought it everywhere I went just so that I can read it during any free time that I could squeeze out. Kim’s honest and funny way of writing this memoir about raising her three daughters with autism gave me the strength to carry on my journey as well.
“It’s true; I always ask the same questions. ‘What day is it today?’ or ‘Is it a school day tomorrow?’ Simple matters like these, I ask again and again. I don’t repeat my question because I didn’t understand – in fact, even as I’m asking, I know I do understand.
The reason why? Because I very quickly forget what it is I’ve just heard. Inside my head there really isn’t such a big difference between what I was told just now, and what I heard a long, long time ago.”
– Higashida, N. (2014). The Reason I Jump. p.23, Sceptre, Great Britain
How many parents out there with a child with autism hope to know at many a times what their little bundle of joy is thinking or what are the reasons behind their actions?