Take a second and imagine yourself walking down the sidewalk in a busy city. As you approach the street you need to cross over, you notice caution tape warning you of construction taking place on a manhole in the middle of the crosswalk. You make a mental note to take a slight detour and walk a half block up before crossing the street. After you’ve successfully passed by the construction zone, the sidewalk you’re walking on is becoming slightly more narrow. Without thinking twice, you reach out and grab the guard rail to assist you through the heavy foot traffic. Finally, you’ve reached the pedestrian crossing and notice the gleam coming off the red and white yield sign. You observe the traffic coming to a stop and begin your walk across the road. At last, you’ve made it to your final destination and can enjoy the delicious hot chocolate that awaits you at the best bakery in town.
There is a great lesson to be learned through the mental journey you just took down the imaginary sidewalk. This simple lesson will prove valuable in any classroom environment involving children with developmental delays: Create visual signs to direct students around the classroom. When you provide visual cues to guide them around the classroom’s physical space, you’ll notice new independence developing. Creating these visual cues can be very simple!
Here are a few tips for setting up your classroom