Are you using visuals in your speech therapy classroom?
In this episode of SLP Coffee Talk, we are breaking away from only talking about older speech therapy students to talk about something that can be used with any age: visual supports!
Visual supports are things like pictures, lists, or drawings that help students with autism communicate. They can make a huge difference in your students’ speech therapy outcomes. I sat down with Tara Tuchel from Autism Little Learners to dive into the topic of visuals and how she uses them to help her autistic students reach their goals.
Tara is a speech/language pathologist who has been teaching young autistic children for over 2 decades. She has the unique position to run her own communication-based classroom and team-teach with a special education teacher. She started Autism Little Learners in March of 2019, about 6 weeks after she lost her dad to leukemia. Her dad was one of her favorite people in the whole world. The grief was so deep and so raw after he died that she needed something to distract her mind from the pain.
Prior to that, she had been thinking about starting a store on Teachers Pay Teachers. This is because she was already making so many of her own materials for her classroom. It can be so difficult to find good resources that are at the right level. Especially for 3 and 4-year-old autistic children! She figured that she couldn’t be the only one having this issue, so she started creating resources and activities for educators and parents of young autistic children.
Tara now has a monthly product membership and an online course (Visual Schedules Made Easy) for educators and parents of young autistic children.
In This Episode You’ll Discover:
- The importance of having several foundational visuals
- Tips for individualizing visuals for your students
- Ways to utilize visuals in your speech therapy classroom
- How visuals allow students to cue themselves
- How parents can incorporate visuals at home
- How and when to transition out of using visuals
- What to know about visual symbols
- Why repetition and routines are so important
Visuals can make an enormous impact on student progress. It’s amazing to see the things they accomplish after they get into the routine of using them. I also really love that you can use them during speech therapy or send them home for families to use as well!
Joke of the Week:
Q: How does the scientist freshen her breath?
A: With expera-mints.
Where We Can Connect:
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