Why do therapists want me to use visuals at home?


Why do therapists what me to use visual and visuals*  at home??

*We mean visuals as pictures, photos or symbols of something or someone.


Visuals are a great way to explain to someone what is happening or going to happen. They also don’t require verbal language to understand them (think road signs or signs in airports).

Having visuals help children to know what is expected of them and what is coming next. We love visual information because it doesn’t change and our brains actually process the information differently from sound, touch, smell, movement, balance and taste (which can all be scary).

Visual information goes straight to our thinking part of our brain – making it easier for children to understand it.

Visual information doesn’t change and isn’t scary – so it is perfect to use at home for chores, expectations or explaining to a child what is happening next. Just think about when you are travelling – most of the time you can deduce things like toilet, airport, hospital from the visual information even if you don’t know the language.


Head over to our visuals page here, and take a look at all the free visuals online. All you need is a printer (and laminator if you like), and some options (such as ASD Visuals or Busy Kids) mean you can pay a little extra and they come ready to use.


Who can help?

GPs, teachers, child care staff, other parents, OTs, Speechies, Psychologists, community nurses can all point you the right direction when it comes to use of visuals.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and it may take time to work out what visuals work for your child or patient. Some children will need photos, symbols or high contrast depending on their needs.


There is some time to set it up, but once set up they are fantastic!

Take a look at our page with loads of link to FREE visuals here!!

Tara is a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, currently based in North Queensland. She has extensive experience working with children who have individual, additional and complex needs. She has a detailed understanding of early intervention, trauma, trans-disciplinary working, autism, sensory processing, as well as the importance of meaningful occupation.

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