Many students with learning disabilities learn the most efficiently through visual aids. This means that students are better at learning and recalling content when they can see the material displayed somehow.
What is a Visual Aid?
Have you ever created a chore chart for a preschooler? Since preschoolers can’t read, a picture representation of the chore would work better than words. (If you are in the market for a visual chore chart I found these ideas on Etsy.)
A visual aid for a chore chart could look like this:
- You could put a picture of a broom for sweeping.
- A picture of toys in a toybox could represent picking up toys.
- An image of a trash can would work for pulling trash.
3 Helpful Visual Aids for Students with Learning Disabilities
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Visual aids work the same way for teaching children that have special needs. There are three types of visual aids that we are going to discuss today. They are:
- Picture books
- Story Kits
- Visual Notes
Picture books link pictures and words to tell a story. In most cases, these images don’t solely replace the text. But the images are as crucial as the actual text.
Early elementary grades most often utilize picture books. However, they are also beneficial for students in middle and high school. Picture books are also used as the main text to present and assess an issue.
All students can use picture books as additional text. Or you can use them solely for a few learners requiring extra help.
Picture books may not be enough for students with more substantial disabilities, such as those who are blind or maintain a low level of vision. This is where story kits may be more helpful.
Story kits usually include a box or bag of items related to a unit, theme, or a specific story.
Story Kits Assist Readers in:
- Forming ideas
- Remembering information
- Advancing their comprehension of a specific concept or idea
Additional Ways Teachers Can Use Story Kits as Visual Aids for Students with Learning Disabilities
Some students require a more tangible way of understanding a section of text. Story kits are great visual aids for enhancing literacy learning for all students.
Teachers may also utilize story kits to introduce or review the aspects of a story. Starting with a story kit may help students gain interest in the book.
Students can refer to the story kit while they talk about particular writing passages. It will also provide them with cues as they participate in other related activities of the book.
When Choosing Story Kits
Teachers should incorporate two different copies of the story or book in the kit. There should be at least one copy adapted for students with disabilities.
Some students may also benefit from the utilization of a tactile book that contains various textures. Other students may require a larger-print version of the text.
Some students may require additional graphics if the text does not include many illustrations. Another visual aid that teachers can use with students with learning disabilities is drawings or visual notes.
Examples of Visual Notes
- Drawings in the Margins
- Drawings in the Body of the Notes
When students use these types of visual aids, they learn that there is more than one way to show information. It also provides struggling readers with a different way to share their understanding of a text.
Additionally, students can use visual notes to stress important points, explain an idea, or create more memorable content.
What are Additional Strategies to Help Your Students with Disabilities?
It is critical to provide multiple learning strategies in the classroom for all students to be successful. If the student does not understand the material presented in class, teachers may provide visual aids that will help.
Have you used visual aids in your classroom? Please share your experience with us!
Here are a few other posts that may give you more ideas for helping your students:
- Interventions For Autism Defined
- 7 Effective Intervention Strategies for High School Students
- 10 Benefits Of Special Education Tutoring For Children With Learning Disabilities
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