Visual Behavioral and Curricular Supports - Using Boardmaker

Activities for this Course: In addition to watching the video and exploring links, course requirements include answering 3 Essential Questions and completing a Lesson Plan that incorporates the strategies learned.

Description: This introductory level class introduces participants to Picture Communication Symbols and Boardmaker as tools to create a variety of materials for individuals with autism. An overview of Boardmaker will be provided along with samples of using Boardmaker to create visual schedules, environmental supports and instructional supports. Specific strategies for using and integrating these supports will also be shared. This is a great beginning class or a chance to get up to speed on how Boardmaker can benefit people with autism. Remember, if you don't have the program, we can use other tools. And, even if your student does not have autism, many of these strategies will still apply.

After you have explored this site, please take time to answer the following Essential Questions:
Essential Question 1: How does this information apply to my student(s)?
Essential Question 2: What are the steps I will take to implement the idea(s) from this training?
Essential Question 3: What resources are necessary to make this plan a success (other teachers, classrooms, materials, etc)?


If you don't know about Boardmaker, please check out the Mayer-Johnson website before proceeding. The district has this program available for use in the Itinerant Office / AT Resource Center at Madison Meadows.

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Watch this video, found at: Visuals for Autism
You will need to create a log-in for registration with Dynavox, but don't worry, it's free.

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Once you have watched the video, please refer to the Boardmaker Online website for boards related to instructional supports. These symbol displays only work with the Boardmaker software. However, if you do not have Boardmaker, check out the following sites for free symbols that you can use for behavioral supports:

IconTalk includes a set of directions to construct "Fold Ups," made available for non-commercial use in memory of Dr. Eric Schopler, Founder of TEACCH.
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Use Visual Strategies has some picture cards for schedules, emotions, and self-management.
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DoToLearn has some picture cards (including social/behavior categories) and schedules.
external image nohitting_m.gifexternal image listen_m.gifexternal image checkschedule_m.gif

PictureSET from SET-BC has downloadable Boardmaker and PDF files related to behavioral supports, divided into three categories:
  1. Activities, Games and Songs (e.g., Public and Private Behavior external image public_and_private.gifThis activity includes a story, cards, and sorting page to support students in understanding the difference between public and private behaviors. Some students will need to memorize a list of publc and private places. Created by Linda Calliou for students in upper elementary to adulthood. See further instructions included in activity.)
  2. Stories (e.g., GroupTime Rules external image circle_time_social_story.gifRevision of story originally created by Lorraine Kamp and colleagues at Surrey S.D. Student Services. Rehearse group or circle time behavior with this story. Created in Boardmaker with 6 full pages to create a booklet.)
  3. Visual and Vocabulary (e.g., Sitting in a Group external image sitting_in_a_group.gifA visual script for appropriate behavior when sitting in a group includes duplicate strips for printing.)



PHOTOsyms - Create Free Communication Boards


Here is a link to SEN teacher, which has free printable photo flash cards:


Finally, click here to download the handout for links to other instructional supports.

Don't forget to write your answers to the Essential Questions in the Discussions tab of this WIKI (look at the top of this page). Be sure to include your name and position in your post:
Essential Question 1: How does this information apply to my student(s)?
Essential Question 2: What are the steps I will take to implement the idea(s) from this training?
Essential Question 3: What resources are necessary to make this plan a success (other teachers, classrooms, materials, etc)?

Send your Lesson Plan to dwagner@msd38.org