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Autism Speaks launches 'Visual Supports' tool kit
Date:12/1/2011

NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 1, 2011) Autism Speaks, North America's largest autism science and advocacy organization today released the Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder tool kit providing valuable guidance to parents, families and providers about how to utilize pictures, photographs and other visual supports to improve communication for children, adolescents and adults who struggle with understanding or using language. For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), not only can visual supports greatly facilitate routine communication and improve language comprehension, visual supports are also useful in explaining social interactions, daily transitions from one activity to another and can facilitate adaptation to new situations for children and adolescents with ASD. The guide is particularly helpful if a child or adolescent on the spectrum has difficulty understanding social cues, has trouble following spoken instructions, or is anxious or acts out when presented with surprising or unfamiliar situations. Families who use visual supports have reported decreases in challenging behaviors and increased compliance and independence.

"Expressive and receptive language skills are a common problem for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum," says Dan Coury, M.D., medical director of Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network (ATN). "We've found that non-verbal communication methods such as visual supports improve their communication skills, and this guide can be particularly helpful for families navigating their daily routines."

Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder was developed by clinicians and families at the Vanderbilt ATN site to provide step-by-step instructions for parents, caregivers, teachers and other professionals who may be unfamiliar with visual supports or who would like to use them more effectively.

"The goal of the 'Visual Supports' tool kit is to empower families with effective strategies to
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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Autism Speaks launches 'Visual Supports' tool kit
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