Visual Strategies for Adapted Books
Submitted by Melissa Walls
For children with autism and language disorders, retelling stories in the correct sequence is challenging. Here are some ideas using visual strategies to teach story retelling, sequencing and comprehension.
Take stories from school reading books and take digital photos from the picture pages that are significant for retelling and sequencing the story.
Create small thumbnails of these and type (or print) a short sentence of what was occurring in each particular picture.
Trace out small blocks to fit the pictures with sentences on a legal sized manila folder. Number each square on the manila folder 1 through however many there is for that particular story (use pencil and this can be adjusted-or cover up blocks that aren't going to be used-that way you only have to make 1 legal sized folder).
Place velcro on the backs of each picture and on the numbered squares in the legal sized folder. Allow the child to read through the story and study the pictures and when finished, randomly place the thumbnail pictures with sentences out on the table.
The child places the pictures/sentences in order 1 through however many (if there is a lot you can put out only the first 3 or so pictures at a time) and let the child retell the story by reading the sentences while them in order.
Once learned, fade the written prompts (sentences) and let her try to use her own words by looking at the pictures. You can make your own envelope to store the pictures in for each story by using two, 3x5 or 4x6 index cards stapled together on three sides (leaving the top open so we can place the pictures in it). Write the story title and author on the top, color a picture on it relating to the story. This technique can be used to make up your own stories or personal events by taking digital photos or using picture symbols.
Another great visual idea to teach comprehension....
You can learn other questions as well, where, what, etc...