Date
23 May 2024

Present information in different ways

Present information to students in different ways to support access and understanding.

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Use visuals

Use visuals

Build a shared understanding of the meaning of visuals.

Some students may focus on unexpected parts of the image that you have not noticed, for example, items in the background.

  • Make visuals of daily tasks, processes and steps.
  • Use visuals that are relevant to the New Zealand context.
  • Label resources with visuals, colours and text for easy identification.
  • Make visuals and resources easy to find by using clearly divided zones, for example a maths resources zone.
  • Use charts, visual calendars, colour-coded schedules, visible timers, and visual cues to increase the predictability of regular activities.
  • Offer graphic organisers and flowcharts to break tasks into shorter chunks.
  • Use visuals, social stories and video models to support learning of new skills or behaviours.
  • Provide feedback in visual as well as verbal formats. Visual formats include written comments and things such as symbols and smiley faces.

Support understanding with visuals

Support understanding with visuals

Offer information in more than one way.

Use symbols and graphics to illustrate key concepts.

Keep the layout clean and uncluttered.

Take a multi-sensory approach

Take a multi-sensory approach

Ask the student what will help and offer multiple ways to build understanding.
  • Offer real experiences.
  • Use images, audio and video to support text and spoken information.
  • Use physical or online manipulatives and tools to support tasks. For example number lines, base ten blocks, counters and scales.
  • Use closed captions on videos.
  • Use online simulations when possible, for example, online experiments.
  • Offer digital text alongside printed versions so students can personalise it by enlarging it, listening to it, or changing the font, colours and filters.
  • Make instructions, demonstrations, or key content rewindable and accessible 24/7 using screencasts, recordings, images and videos.
  • Put content in a variety of formats in one place, for example, a video, a graphic and text document, by using online tools and digital platforms.

Support access and under­standing with visuals

Support access and under­standing with visuals

Linda Ojala uses visuals alongside text and spoken language to support access to information and increase understanding.

Use video modelling

Use video modelling

Models can support understanding and the development of skills and appropriate behaviours.
  • A video model shows the student, a peer or someone else doing the desired skill or behaviour.
  • A video model could show a variety of skills, for example a hand washing routine, a social interaction such as turn taking or a model of a transition between the classes, to assembly or an emergency drill.
  • A video model of the autistic student may be made using snippets from multiple occasions.
  • The student watches the video to learn and copy the skill or behaviour.
  • When making video models do not include “what not to do” as these may be learnt instead of the positive model.

Useful resources

Useful resources

Website

Video modelling and autism

Outlines types of video modelling and how to use it.

Publisher: Raising Children Network Australia

Visit website

Website

Video modeling: What is it and why use it?

Describes types of video modelling and their effectiveness. Includes examples.

Publisher: Autism Classroom Resources

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Helpful classroom strategies years 1-8”:

Return to the guide “Autism and learning”

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