Find Images to Use When Communicating with Autistic People

Most autistic people are visual learners; here are sites to find those visuals!

If you work with a person on the autism spectrum, you probably know that pictures are worth a thousand word. But where do you find free or low-cost pictures that illustrate potty training, grocery shopping, or tooth brushing? From clip art to high-quality photographs, there are plenty of resources available!

Visual Strategies Printouts

toothbrush. toothbrush

Print out these graphic images in the areas of hygiene, housekeeping, scheduling and emotions/self-management. These are not photographic, and seem to be intended for an older user (young children are unlikely to be handling household chores, for example).

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Trainland Images

Scroll down this page to find the link to dozens of "PECS Pages." These are photos and graphic images of an incredible range of items -- all printable, and all free. They're relatively small (only about an inch and a half square) but they're full color. Also on the page are links to additional image sites and pages full of sign language images.

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The Support Room

This Australian website is low on description, but offers hundreds of full-color flashcards free! Click and print images of animals, activities, sports equipment and more.

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Silver Lining Multimedia

This is not a freebie site, but it does offer an extraordinary value: CD's of thousands of high-quality photographs for $40-$80. You could spend hours sifting through free sites, or own and print these materials which include not only items but also processes. If you expect to use specific, hard-to-find photographic images on a regular basis, these CD's are well worth the investment.

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Ellie Cards

Ellie Cards offers a complete PECS set, including velcro book, photo cards and "choice board" for $239. Obviously, this is not the lowest-cost option on the market. But for teachers or parents who intend to use the PECS (Picture Exchange Card) system as outlined by Pyramid Products, Ellie Cards may be a great option -- especially since they offer a customized selection of cards at a reasonable cost.

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Super Duper Publishing

You'll find decks of picture cards for every occasion at this site. They're not especially inexpensive ($10.95 for 31 cards), but they are large (3X4 inches), laminated, and full color.

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Different Roads to Learning

Much like Ellie Cards, this company offers complete PECS sets at a fairly high cost ($37 for 151 cards with velcro backing plus another $31 for the velcro notebook). You can also buy a CD with over a thousand images for $40.00.

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Pictures Are Worth More Than 1,000 Words

When you're working with a person on the autism spectrum, visual communication is key. Whether you download freebies or purchase sets of cards, you'll find a thousand ways to use images to express ideas, wants, and needs.

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