LC Journal of Special Education


Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) commonly have deficits in the areas of communication, socialization, and behaviors. Because many students with ASD are described as visual learners, they tend to show improved response to information presented visually. By using a student's visual processing strength, these strategies can help decrease reliance on areas of deficits, such as auditory processing and communication. There are many supports teachers can use in the classroom to augment and enhance instruction that will increase student independence while decreasing dependence on adult prompts and cues (Ganz, 2007). Because students with ASD can have difficulties processing and understanding language, visual strategies can assist with daily routines and help manage behavior (Rao & Gagie, 2006). The use of visual strategies with students with autism has been supported through research. These strategies are labeled established treatments in the field by the National Autism Center (2009), in the National Standards Report. This means that there have been a sufficient number of studies conducted that provide substantial evidence that visual strategies are able to produce beneficial results (National Autism Center, 2009). The Virginia Department of Education (2011) described visual strategies as evidenced-based in the Models of Best Practice in the Education of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders.