Providing your child with visual supports can be a very effective way to help them learn and develop their understanding.   ‘Visuals’ can mean objects, photographs, symbols or text.  It is important to know your child’s level of understanding when choosing which type of visual to use. Your school will be able to help you with this.

Using ‘First and Then’ boards

Sometimes called ‘Now and Next’, these simple boards are used to introduce your child to the idea of doing things in a sequence of two.  These can be very helpful to motivate your child to complete a less preferred task by showing them (and reminding them) that a more desirable activity will follow shortly.

First & Then board

First and  Then board

You can find out more about First and Then boards at

Even older children can benefit from this approach by receiving something they really crave once they have completed that thing they have been putting off!  For example, going to the cinema at the weekend if they have arrived at school on time all week, or time on the computer after homework has been completed.

Visual timetables and schedules

Children with learning difficulties or disabilities may find it hard to understand what is happening and can feel very anxious because they don’t know what to expect next. By showing them, using a timetable or schedule, you will be helping to take away their fear of the unknown.

Visual timetable

A visual timetable

Schedules can also be used to help your child learn tasks which can be broken down into small steps such as brushing teeth, getting dressed, going to the toilet etc.

You can find out more about visual timetables at




Free visuals can be found at the following Web sites

Other visual resource for parents can be found at  View2do