Fisher Price Daily Routine


The Fisher Price Daily Routine is one of the most popular visual supports we offer. It is similar to the bedtime/morning routines, but this one can be utilized during the day or really any time! We can customize the PECS to an individual’s personal schedule. This example includes a pocket at the bottom to place extra PECS in, allowing for a lot of flexibility. This schedule is great because individuals are able to attain independence and feel as though they are in control by moving the activities they complete to the “Done” side.

Halloween – Carving Pumpkins & Trick-or-Treating


Halloween can be a scary time for children… This visual support will enable individuals to participate in the Halloween festivities. There are two separate visual supports: one for carving pumpkins, and one for trick-or-treating! Visual supports are helpful because they can alleviate anxiety by preparing the child for what will happen next.

First, Then (Primero, Luego)


The “First, Then” item offers support for individuals who tend to be impatient or always looking to do the next activity, go to the next place, etc. This activity helps them to see that first they must do [activity/go someplace] then they can do what they want (or get some type of reward, such as free time). Helping the child visualize this helps them to understand that they will get to the activity or place they want, but they must first do what is being asked of them. This visual aid is easy to make, but can be requested from the resource room an along with all other visual supports, is available in Spanish.

“Wait” Picture Support Board


Most children have difficulty waiting for something they want or that is motivating them. This difficulty is particularly difficult for children with autism and other developmental disorders. Pictures can be used to help children who are non-verbal or on the autism spectrum to communicate their wants and needs. The “Wait” picture support board uses 5 symbols in addition to a picture (PEC) of the desired activity or event. We can customize these pictures to meet each individual’s needs. This item is also very portable, making it easy to use at home, in the car, at school, or anywhere else.

To use:  Place the picture support board with five to six “wait” symbols (stars or hand with “wait” written)on it in the child’s line of sight. Use verbal cues along with the symbols to help the child understand that s/he has to wait. Remove the symbols from the board one at a time as time passes; you will need to judge the pace pictures should be removed based on the amount of time needed to wait. Once the waiting period is over, have the child remove the last picture when s/he can visibly see the waiting period is over.

The Incredible 5-Point Scale

IMG_0502The Incredible 5-Point Scale (Buron & Curtis, 2003) is a simple strategy that involves breaking down behaviors into concrete parts in order to help an individual  more easily understand their own responses and feelings and ultimately learn to manage their behavior. This technique can be very effective with a wide range of individuals and can be used to target any behavior. This item is always available in our resource room. 

Where should my child be tested or get diagnosised?

Though diagnosis by a medical professional (MD or PhD) is necessary for certain documentation and programs, the wait for an assessment can be long.  Being assessed and treated through your local school district or counseling provider can be a first step while awaiting formal diagnosis.

Medical professionals in East Central Illinois who offer diagnostic services are:

What are the best interventions for children with ASD?

This is a tricky question to answer.  Individuals with ASD are complex and unique so finding ways to best support them depends on the individual and their goals.  Below, we’ve outlined a few interventions that you would want to be familiar with.  On our “Community Autism Specialists” page we have contact information for area resources.  Support groups are another great way to learn about what works for families.  Here is a complete report on Evidence-Based Practices for Children, Youth, and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.


ABA is short for Applied Behavior Analysis.  ABA breaks down complex tasks into small pieces and then individuals (usually children) are taught one small piece at a time.  When a child is successful they get rewards.  Over time, the therapist teaches more complex skills and with fewer rewards (ABA needs to be implemented with an ABA therapist).  This intervention has been the study of a lot of research and is typically considered to be effective.  We have several books on ABA in our library.


Floortime is a strategy in which parents and professionals play with young children at their level and in doing so help expand their communication and social skills.  This approach, developed by Dr. Greenspan, starts with following the child’s lead and then building upon that to expand the child’s world.  Compared to ABA, this approach is more child centered and naturalistic but it may be less successful for teaching concrete tasks.  The P.L.A.Y project offers Floortime and you can learn more about Floortime with books and DVDs from our library.


PECS is short for picture exchange system.  It is one of the most common communication interventions used with children with ASD especially those with significant communication impairments.  Children with ASD often have difficulty communicating their basic wants and needs.  This intervention focuses on giving them a tool (pictures) to communicate.  Over time the goal is to use the pictures to exchange for items, build sentences, and answer questions.  We have several books on PECS in our library and we can make PECS pictures for you in our resource room.

Social Narratives

Social narratives help teach learners about social relationships, social thinking, and what to expect in different social situations.  We can create social narratives for your child/student’s individual needs.  We also have books on how to create and use social narratives.

The Incredible 5-Point Scale

The Incredible 5-Point Scale is a visual strategy that helps individuals with autism learn about regulating emotions.  Sometimes children with ASD seem to go from calm to meltdown very quickly.  This tool helps them to understand their emotions and put them in perspective.  It is also used to teach strategies for managing difficult emotions.  We can make many adaptations of the 5-Point scale in the resource room and have books on how to implement the strategy.

We didn’t want to overwhelm you so this is a pretty short list.  From here, we would recommend browsing the intervention books in our library (either online or in person).  There are also some great websites that give more comprehensive information about interventions.  Autism Speaks has a nice summaries of a variety of different supports and videos so you can see them in action.  Autism Internet Modules provides online training for learning many interventions available.  They focus on evidence based interventions so their list of interventions also serves a great for what are best practices (not just common practices).

Medical Interventions

There are no medications that have been specifically developed for individuals with ASD, however, some medications are often prescribed to help children (and adults) focus, manage emotions, and learn better as well as manage other challenges individuals with ASD may face (like difficulties sleeping or irritable bowel syndrome).  If you’re considering medical options the free “Medication Decision Aid Tool Kit” from Autism Speaks may be useful or the book Taking the Mystery Out of Medications in Autism/Asperger Syndromes.

All About the Number


This visual support is an interactive poster board that can be used to help individuals learn numbers.  It is typically used with numbers 1 through 20.  Facilitators use this board by selecting a number of focus.  They then explore the number with the individuals they are teaching by spelling it, counting it out, and figuring out the numbers that come before and after it.

Poster Sized Emotions Thermometer


This visual support is a large version of the emotions thermometer we carry in stock in the resource room, which is based off of “The incredible 5-Point Scale”.  The emotions thermometer helps individuals break down emotions into concrete parts to help them identify and better understand their feelings.  This is done by breaking down emotions into numbers, colors, pictures, and words and formatting them into the shape of a thermometer.  We carry index card sized and an 8 x 11 sized emotion thermometers in stock in the resource room, but the poster sized emotions thermometers are only made upon request.

Match It-Emotions Edition

IMG_0032[1]Match It-Emotions Edition

Using visual representations of emotions, this book has children match the expression they see on the face on a card to the word for that emotion.  Kit comes with cards of cartoon faces expressing different emotions and velcro spots with labeled emotions to which a student matches them.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Do 2 Learn

Do2learn provides thousands of pages of social skills and behavioral regulation activities and guidance, learning songs and games, communication cards, academic material, and transition guides for employment and life skills.  Doesn’t that sound like what you’ve been looking for?


Ready to Group

IMG_0009[1]Ready to Group, part of the Ready to Learn series.

A visual and interactive set of activities designed to teach students grouping.  Grouping is matching the correct number of objects to a number.  Ready to Group is the next step after Ready to Count.  The Ready to Learn series is designed to fade visual supports and actively engage students-easily modified to individualized to a students needs.  Kit includes a workbook with activity pages including number character and visual icons,  didactic instruction, prompt hierarchy, character/number sequence, grouping assessment tool, counting using icons board, and number cards.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.


Fill in the Missing Number

IMG_0005[1]Fill in the Missing Number

Number activity focusing on sequencing of numbers.  Find the number that matches the missing logical numeric character.  Activity includes number characters and picture cards.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost

Transportation Counting Activity 1-10

IMG_0003[1]Transportation Counting Activity 1-10

This activity focuses on number identification and word identification.  The goal is to match the written word to the numerical character.  Image icons of transportation are used as supports.  This activity includes ten Velcro cards with transportation images, written words, and numerical characters.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Number Puzzle Activity

IMG_0002[1]Number Puzzle Activity

This activity focuses on number identification, color identification, reasoning (part-whole), fine motor development and literacy.  The goal of the activity is to put together puzzle pieces to form a picture.  It includes instructions, Velcro cards, and puzzle pieces.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.

Visual Techniques for Developing Social Skills: Activities and Lesson Plans for Teaching Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome

visual techniques for developing social skillsVisual Techniques for Developing Social Skills: Activities and Lesson Plans for Teaching Children with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome by Rebecca A Moyes.

(XSS Moyes 2011)

This book provides practical, hands-on strategies for teaching social skills to children with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome. For use in both general education and special education classrooms, each chapter includes a detailed description of the social deficits of these children and ways to address them.

If available, item can be checked out from the resource room at no cost.