Visual Schedules Made Easy?! Yes please! If anyone has ever told you that your child would benefit from visuals, this episode is for you! Right? This episode is for EVERYone… because we can ALL benefit from visuals (hello, grocery list)! Today I’m talking to the one and only Tara Tuchel of Autism Little Learners, creator of the online course called “Visuals Made Easy” about all things visuals. Tara, a licensed SLP and early childhood teacher to children with autism, will help us understand exactly what we mean by “visuals,” how to use them, and why so many students benefit from them. Tara’s enthusiasm is contagious, and her ideas are so darn easy to implement.
Tara is a speech/language pathologist who has worked with autistic children for over 20 years. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Communicative Disorders at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Her minor was in Early Childhood Education. After working exclusively with autistic children at the elementary level for several years, she went on to obtain an Autism Certificate from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She's attended numerous professional development workshops, seminars, and courses over the years, and has been an adjunct professor at Hamline University teaching courses for educators about autism for 10 years.
Tara spent several years at the early elementary level in Wisconsin and Colorado. Now, she is enjoying co-teaching in an autism classroom at the early childhood level (mainly with children ages 2.5 to 5 years) in Minnesota. Another aspect of her job at the early childhood level includes doing initial evaluations, from speech/language evaluations to full autism assessments. The parent connection at the preschool level is something she really loves!
Tara started Autism Little Learners in March of 2019, about 6 weeks after she lost her dad to leukemia. The grief was so deep and so raw after he died that she needed something to distract her mind from the pain. Prior to that, she had been thinking about starting a store on Teachers Pay Teachers. because she already made so many of her own materials for her classroom. It can be so difficult to find good resources that are at the right level. Especially for 3 and 4 year old autistic students! So, she started creating resources and activities for educators and parents of young autistic children. Tara also does several free trainings each year on Facebook, and has an online course titled "Visual Schedules Made Easy".