Viz Kids quick guide to less meltdowns

Children have meltdowns. Sometimes there seems to be no way around it. A schedule is changed. A toy is taken away. Rain arrives unexpectedly. But quite often, there is a way to keep the meltdown at bay and keep the day going smoothly by using visual support. In short, visual supports are diagrams for children to process and respond to. A visual schedule helps a child know there is a change in activities; a visual countdown lets the child know that their toy has an expiration date; a visual condition shows what activity will happen if it sunny and what activity will happen if it rains; and a visual choice board gives the child a way to choose what they want. Learn how to avoid meltdowns with this helpful Viz Kids tutorial. 1. Visual Schedules Most children have no idea what’s coming up next in their day. In some children, this causes great anxiety. A schedule can help relieve the anxiety that ends up in a meltdown. A visual schedule can be as simple as letting the child know what is abo

Total communication with your child using visuals

We all use several modes of communication to express ourselves and understand others. Spoken language, body language, gestures, facial expressions, and possibly some sign language as well. A mode that is often missed is visual communication. Showing several visuals representing choices or a schedule to your child is very effective. It results in fewer meltdowns and more positive interactions. However, until smart apps came along, it was inefficient and, quite frankly, a pain in the backside. There is an app called Viz Kids that makes it almost as simple as using spoken language, yet way more effective for young and neurodiverse children. Viz Kids allows you to record yourself stating a choice or schedule for your child, and the app displays it using visuals. You can ask, “Do you want to go to the library, playground or park?” Viz kids will display a grid of images representing a library, a playground and a park. Your child can then point to or touch the image representing their choice.

Relieve your child's anxiety with a visual schedule

Have you ever tried to transition your child from playtime to not playtime? How did it go? Quite often, the answer to the second question is “not well.” One reason for this is the sudden change for the child. You might have known playtime was coming to an end for several minutes, but in the child’s view, it was a complete surprise. Even if you told them, “Playtime is almost over.” It does not always register in their brains, and if it does, it leaves their brain within seconds. Most young children respond better to visual communication than spoken language. They see a visual representing the change. They see one visual of their current activity coming to an end and another visual representing the activity they are transitioning to. Their brains register it and remember it more consistently, and they know what is coming up next. This type of schedule, often referred to as a “First, Then” schedule, relieves anxiety and helps transitions occur more smoothly. "First, Then" schedu

Help your child process requests in 1...2...3

Children need time to process information, including directives like “Eat your vegetables” and “For the love of God, be quiet!” Whichever flavor of counting you prefer – “1, 2, 3” or “3, 2, 1” – it is a way to give them time to process. However, there are two reasons to do it differently. 1. Your child is strong willed If you’re finding that after counting to 2, you have to add 2 ½ before getting to 3, well, there is a better way. Have your child participate in the countdown. Using a visual communication app called Viz Kids, you can show them the countdown to the next activity or desired behavior and have them press the numbers so they feel some control. Also, unlike spoken language that is here in the moment and then gone, visuals are more permanent, and your child can see the countdown and your expectation and keep it in their working memory longer. 2. You’re child is preverbal Children who cannot express themselves verbally yet, and may or may not understand language well, can usual

Give your child choices they can understand

Giving your child a choice doesn't just help them in the moment. It also instills agency, confidence and connection long-term. Here are three ways you can give children choices before they can understand spoken language or express themselves with words. 1. Use artifacts (aka the thing itself) Do you want the child to choose between dolls and blocks? Put a doll in one hand and a block in the other. Simple enough! And very effective! However, it's not always that simple. What if you're pushing them on the swing outside? You don't want to go inside to get the artifacts and leave your child alone. You also don't necessarily want to risk a meltdown by taking them from their swing to -- from the child's perspective -- who knows where?! Using artifacts are the best way to give choices when you have few choices and they're readily available. 2. Use a choice board Choice boards are usually about the size of a notebook with pictures of choices the child may want. Thes