Here are the resources I use most when creating resources, visual aids and communication supports for my students with autism. Do-it-yourself and special education go together like laminate and Velcro because our students have so many specific interests, learning styles and needs!
Make Things Durable
- Scotch laminator – This seems to be the most popular among teachers and it has great reviews on Amazon. Keep an eye out for sales at Target too!
- Laminating sheets – I have found no difference between name brand, Amazon brand or other off brands. I use these simply because they were on sale when I needed to re-order last time.
- Self-adhesive Velcro – This site has a $50 minimum but you get a LOT of Velcro for that. Dare I say you can get an entire year’s worth of Velcro? Depending on the types of tasks you make, you might be like me and use a disproportionate amount hook to loop. I use way more of the soft Velcro and order accordingly.
- Self-adhesive Velcro dots – I spring for these at home to save my hands from scissor pains.
- Scotch Display Pockets – I cannot rave about these enough! In fact I wrote a post about them! Slip in anything you want to be protected but save your laminating sheets! Perfect for one time use activities or schedules. Dry erase markers come off easily and they withstand some serious abuse by students!
- Page Protectors – I only like crystal clear page protectors. The semi-glossy or frosted ones don’t come as clean when you use dry erase markers.
- Clear pockets – 2.5″ square with an opening on the top so you can slip in icons you need at a moment’s notice.
- Bookmark sleeves – 2″x8″ sleeves ideal for mini schedules, center instructions and task analysis.
Images and Symbol Sets
I use multiple sources for my visuals and you should too! I like using photographs I take or from Google Images along with clipart. Some students require the more concrete representation of photographs while others are able to generalize to clipart.
- Google Images – endless photographs and clipart
- Mayer-Johnson Boardmaker – software with thousands of clipart images
- I purchased the CD several years ago but they are moving to an online system.
- Smarty Symbols Image Club – software with thousands of clipart images
- I have the online subscription for this symbols set. They update quite often and take image requests!
- Personal use subscriptions are as low as $45 a year for over 17,000 images.
- Teachers Pay Teachers – thousands of clipart sets for free or just a few dollars each
- This is where I get most of the images I use to create resources.