Enhancing Communication for Individuals with Autism: A Guide to the Visual Immersion System

Authors: Howard C. Shane Ph.D., Jennifer S. Abramson M.S., CCC-SLP, Kara Corley M.S., CCC-SLP, Holly Fadie M.S., CCC-SLP, Suzanne Flynn Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Emily Laubscher M.S., CCC-SLP, Ralf Schlosser Ph.D., James Sorce Ph.D.

Format: Paperback, 344 pages, 8.5 x 11.0
ISBN: 9781598572216
Price: $49.95

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How can you help children with moderate to severe autism become more effective communicators? Discover the Visual Immersion System (VIS), a practical, research-based intervention framework that taps into the strong visual processing skills many children on the spectrum have. You'll learn how to use readily available resources—from photos and symbols to apps and software—to create a customized system of visual supports that boost seven key communicative functions (see sidebar). For each of the functions, you'll get comprehensive how-to guidance on choosing tools and materials, conducting systematic instruction, collecting data, and assessing how well interventions are working. A must for SLPs, interventionists, and educators, the innovative VIS approach will ensure better communication and higher quality of life for children with autism.


  • Uses visual supports, an approach that's proven successful for children with autism
  • Strengthens communication skills needed for learning and meaningful human interaction
  • Builds on evidence-based assessment and intervention procedures developed over decades at Boston Children's Hospital
  • Incorporates a wide range of low-tech and higher-tech options
  • Flexible—can be used in home, school, or community settings
  • Provides clear, easy-to-use instructions on conducting interventions
  • Includes guidance on generalizing new communication skills

PRACTICAL MATERIALS: Detailed guide to low- and higher-tech visual supports (includes benefits and limitations of each); case examples from clinical practice and field study; 15 reproducible checklists and forms to guide assessment, implementation, and progress monitoring.

Help children with autism improve key communication skills:

  • Protest and refusal
  • Organization & transitions
  • Requesting
  • Directives
  • Commenting
  • Questions
  • Social pragmatics


Review by: Donna Kearns, American Reference Books Annual
“From beginning to end this book provides clear, sequential information about how to assess language across domains in order to identify current skills and deficits...”
Review by: Barry Prizant, Adjunct Professor, Brown University; Director, Childhood Communication Services; co-author, The SCERTS Model
“A major contribution in advancing evidence-based practice in the use of visually-based communication systems . . . a must-have resource for educators and therapists supporting the development of persons with autism.”
Review by: Joe Reichle, University of Minnesota; ASHA Fellow
“An array of thoughtful criterion-referenced assessments and intervention strategies that include helpful visual examples of materials described.”

Table of Contents

About the Authors
About the Downloadable Material

  1. Overview of The Visual Immersion Program (VIP)
  2. Language Acquisition and Symbolic Competence
  3. Tools Used to Support Visual Language and Communication
  4. Principles of Assessment
  5. Principles of Intervention
  6. Protesting
  7. Organization and Transitions
  8. Requesting
  9. Directives
  10. Commenting
  11. Questions
  12. Social Pragmatics


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