Communicating using Pictures

For a few months now, we’ve been using more and more pictures as symbols for communication with Jovie. She loves photos/images/drawings, and using systems like PECS is commonly used with ASD kids. The only problem has been that 1. I cannot afford Boardmaker (and neither can 99% of regular families like us); and 2. I felt like some scenarios/photos were missing from our PECS folder.

So, what to do? I’m not an artist or illustrator by any means – but that’s the beauty of drawing pictures for communication. They don’t need to be complicated – just enough to illustrate an object or scenario. Over the weekend, I drew out a few pages of things we do all the time – go to therapy, go to school, blow bubbles, brush teeth & even Yo Gabba Gabba – and luckily my 4 year old (Jasper) could understand them! I coloured them in, laminated them, chopped them up and stuck velcro on the back of each card. And voila!

Not bad for a crafternoon’s work 🙂 I’ve stuck them on a door in the hallway, and every morning we choose the cards to go up on the board today. Yesterday, Jasper was ‘swimming’, ‘cubby house’, ‘read books’, ‘drawing’ and of course ‘Mario Kart Wii’. (We also use his board to spell his name and to show the day of the week). Boards like this really help kids break down events of the day, and also serve as a to-do list for mum’s like me 😛

A few lovely ladies left comments about wanting a copy for themselves, and I thought it was an awesome idea! So here they are –

I’ve redrawn 48 images last night which include – Go for a walk, go to therapy, brushing time, listening time, bath time, brush teeth, pants, shoes, socks, tshirt, kiss & a cuddle, go to the zoo, iPad/iPod, shopping, go for a swim, jump on the trampoline and eat. I’ve also added a box around each image so you have a cutting guide, and used a font instead of my handwriting for the text. There’s 6 x A4 pages to download, print and laminate.

There are two options for downloading the printable PDF file (4.6MB) –


Download for $6

Why two options? Because I know costs add up when it comes to finding tools & equipment for therapy, and because they add up for me too. (Hey, I’m honest!).

Feel free to share this post around and let me know if you’ve printed the pictures out and are using them 🙂 I’m open to drawing more, especially since I know there are things you do specifically with your own kids that you can’t find a picture for. If you don’t have access to a laminating machine, leave a message below and I’ll see what I can do.

I’d appreciate any feedback that you might have – this was my first try at making them myself and I had alot of fun doing it 🙂

Happy crafting!

FionaJune 6th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Awesome work lovely! While Boardmaker makes things easier at time, hand drawn is so portable! (tip carry around a pad of postits and a pen for on the fly schedules/sequences/first-thens)



MaritaJune 7th, 2012 at 10:50 am

Brilliant thank you. I’ve shared them on the Stuff With Thing and Autism: In our own words, facebook pages as well as a couple of autism specific facebook groups I’m part of.

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