Alderwood’s services promote a Visual Communication System in all aspects of care and education.
Following principles of TEACCH (Treatment & Education of Autistic & related Communication Handicapped Children). Alderwood LLA promotes the use of visual communication and structure throughout all of its specialised autism services. Each service user is supported by an individualised visual communication system that is tailor made to meet their wants, needs and ability levels.
Many people who experience autism, who can describe their perspective reveal they experience profound difficulties in the comprehension of others verbal communication and actions. They tell us that the statements and actions of others may at times seem to occur without meaning or identifiable purpose, occurring randomly and without warning or logic. People experiencing autism often find it difficult to read, interpret and respond effectively to the world they inhabit.
The major function of communication is to give information. Visual aids such as signs, schedules and work systems offer information in a logical, structured, sequential form. Most of us use types of visual support in the form of diaries, calendars, to do lists and so on. All these things help us organise our own lives, but, these traditional forms of visual communication may not give enough information for some people experiencing autism and it is necessary to adapt, enhance and increase the amount of information available to make it more meaningful.
A visual communication system helps to enable effective communication, reduce anxiety and improve choice and coping strategies. It can help encourage speech and reading skills when used appropriately and consistently. All Alderwood LLA staff are trained to employ the use of, and, correct delivery of individualised visual communication systems.