Visual supports are ever present in our daily lives, silently aiding our understanding of tasks, breaking down barriers, and fostering universal accessibility. In the realm of special needs education, these visual aids become even more critical, offering a gateway to comprehension and independence. In her book, Thrive: Special Needs Strategies that Work, author Jenny Hubanks delves into the transformative impact of visual supports, making a compelling case for their integration into educational practices.
The Unseen Influence of Visual Supports
Visual supports extend beyond mere images; they are powerful tools that simplify tasks and enhance comprehension, especially for individuals with attention deficits or learning challenges. From handwashing instructions to assembling food items, visual aids prove their effectiveness in various scenarios. Restaurants employing menu pictures, road signs using symbols, and even the floor arrows in stores during COVID all demonstrate the versatility of visual supports in our environment.
According to Hubanks, “Once visual supports become an everyday part of your life, you will begin to notice how many there are in your environment. You will also notice how many places you can add visuals to support clarity.”
A Chapter Dedicated to Visual Supports in Thrive
In Thrive, Jenny Hubanks dedicates an entire chapter to the exploration of visual supports. Drawing from personal experiences with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Hubanks emphasizes the profound impact of visual supports on individuals struggling with short-term memory.
Quick Wins for an Improved Learning Environment
Hubanks asserts that visual supports are among the quickest and easiest ways to enhance the learning environment and foster independence. Given their adaptability, they can be tailored to address specific challenges, providing a structured approach that nurtures a sense of autonomy among learners.
Positive Reinforcement: Key to Successful Implementation
The process of introducing visual supports involves teaching children to use them effectively. Hubanks stresses the importance of positive reinforcement each time a child successfully utilizes a visual aid. This approach not only encourages continuous use but also reinforces the effectiveness of visual supports in shaping behavior and promoting independence.
Beyond the Book: Implementing Visual Supports in Daily Life
In addition to insights shared in Thrive, Hubanks encourages parents, teachers, and caregivers to recognize and embrace visual supports in their daily lives. By doing so, individuals can appreciate the multitude of places where visuals can be incorporated to enhance clarity and understanding.
Scriptural Encouragement: The Journey of Teaching and Nurturing
Closing the chapter on visual supports in Thrive, Hubanks leaves readers with a collection of Bible verses that speak to the journey of teaching and nurturing children. These verses provide solace and inspiration, reinforcing the idea that guidance and encouragement are readily available in the Word.
Conclusion: A Visual Revolution in Special Needs Education
As we navigate the landscape of special needs education, visual supports emerge as a beacon of hope and empowerment. Jenny Hubanks, through her book Thrive, invites readers to recognize the potential of visual aids, fostering an inclusive and effective learning environment for individuals with diverse needs. Embrace the visual aids and unlock the potential for growth, independence, and comprehension in special needs education.
Members of the Master Books app have access to a special needs group where home homeschool parents can ask questions and seek advice. Jenny Hubanks will visit this group weekly to provide general strategies as questions arise. This homeschool community is a powerful resource. It is a great place to learn new strategies with each interaction.