Visual Schedules, Picture Cards, Chore Charts, and More…..oh My!!

June 14, 2011 by Sassy Sojourner  
Published in Shopping

This article explains in detail the many uses for and benefits of picture cards, from special needs to chore charts, rewards and consequences, flash cards, and more.

Oh we are so excited to have the opportunity to share our latest visual strategies success story.  Our VSOCD (visual strategies obsessive-compulsive disorder) began with the diagnosis of our autistic son, Jeremiah.  It started with visual schedules to curb the inevitable meltdowns associated with an interruption in our regularly scheduled day.

From there we created an emotions and feelings board for when Jerry couldn’t verbalize how he was feeling or what was hurting.

Then there were the activity/rewards boards where Jerry could CHOOSE his next activity or a reward to reinforce positive behavior.

But it didn’t stop there!  Step-by-step how-to’s for Jerry to aid him in basic self-care skills became the next craze….from teaching him to tie his shoes to teeth brushing.  For example, we had a foam board strip behind the bathroom sink for months that displayed picture cards outlining every step in the teeth brushing routine (turn water on, wet toothbrush, turn water off, put toothpaste on toothbrush, brush teeth, turn water on, rinse toothbrush, turn water off, put toothbrush away, spit toothpaste out, dry mouth).  

The If/Then chart was our best friend when it came to teaching Jeremiah sequencing, consequences, and patience in waiting for something he desperately wanted.

We quickly found that the possibilities to visual strategies are truly endless.  But this one was very exciting.  We were really trying to manage Jerry’s behavior, both good and bad and found a system that works through one of our favorite visual strategies.  It’s a simple blank poster laminated and fitted with vertical Velcro strips. 

Then we went to our favorite visual card making site, Mrs. Riley ( to get card-making.  We started with cards like, “No Whining.”, No Hitting.”, No Laughing at People.”.  I was soon overwhelmed by how negative these cards sounded and so changed them to “I didn’t whine!”, “I didn’t hit!”, “I didn’t laugh at anyone!”.  We made a swarm of others too.  Here are just a few:

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