Visual Strategies For Improving Communication by Linda A. Hodgdon, M.ED., CCC-SLP

When I read the title “Visual Strategies For Improving Communication” written by Linda A. Hodgdon, M.ED., CCC-SLP I assumed the information provided was about how Speech Language Pathologists can help students communicate using pictures visually, but it was so much more. This book can benefit teachers, educators, ECE teachers, parents and caregivers,   or anyone else who could  be considered a communication partner. You maybe asking, “What are visual supports?”  “Visual supports are things we SEE that enhance the communication process.”   Using visual strategies on a daily basis to enhance what the teacher for example is expressing such as giving directions, asking questions can give  students  the ability to better UNDERSTAND and organize their thinking.

Another misconception I had was that I can only use Visual Communication Tools with students who have Autism/Aspergers. Students from Preschool through High School all the way to Adult who may have a diagnosis of Behavior Disorders, Learning Disability, Language Disorder…. would benefit from visuals whether they are verbal or non-verbal. “Do not assume a student understands just because he talks.” “The majority of these students are VISUAL LEARNERS”.

There are many examples and good illustrations on how to make and use communication tools such as schedules, mini schedules, calendars, choice boards… She discusses aids on how to give effective directions, visual strategies to organize the environment, and communicating in a variety of environments.  Also,  there are numerous case studies in which the reader is provided with a problem and also a solution. Of course, Hodgon’s book has the theory and research to “back up” her information, but most importantly her book actually is a reference that you will refer back to again and again.

I would highly recommend this book as a great reference to have on your bookshelf. You can order online at www. UseVisualStrategies.com  The price is $39.95 or you can check it out for FREE from Melissa.

Leslie Brown

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