Taking the Work Out of Blood Work: A Parent's Guide

Visual Supports for Children with ASD

What are visual supports?

A visual support refers to using a photograph, drawing, object, or list to communicate with a child who has difficulty understanding or using language. Visual supports can be especially helpful when your child has to participate in medical procedures such as blood draws. Certain kinds of visual supports have been researched enough to be considered an established treatment for children with ASD. For more information about evidence-based treatments, go to the National Standards Project at www.nationalautismcenter.org.

Why are they important?

The main features of ASD involve challenges in interacting socially, in using language, and having limited interests or repetitive behaviors. Visual supports help in all three areas and before, during, and after blood draws or other medical procedures.

Two kinds of visual supports that might help your child with ASD more successfully complete blood draws are First-Then Boards and visual schedules.