Introduction to this Visual Languages Blog for Independent Adaptive Living Tools and Compensating Strategies for People with Disabilities

Welcome to my newest addition –

Although there have been some posts on my main blog about the Visual Language Tools that I use and the Adaptive Living Tools that I use, this is the right place to learn more about them.

Visual Tools are like this – (as one example) (it is actually about half-way down pg)

DOOR OUT Sticker – for trailing along the pathway to the door and to place on the door where out can be found. – designed and developed by cricketdiane (that’s me.)

Today, I am starting this blog with some of the information I’ve previously posted on my cricketdiane blog as well as the store on Zazzle which has allowed me to offer to the public – my tools and those I’m creating similar to mine that I use to help compensate for brain injury and other disabilities.

This store at Zazzle is an on-demand platform, which means that when something is ordered – it is then made as its seen on the site. Customers can customize, add text, change or alter the elements of the design I’ve made in order to suit their own specific needs of the moment. And, what I like about it – that can be ordered as just one – or as many. Pretty nifty.

Adaptive Living Tools & Visual Language Tools Store by CricketDiane (on zazzle)*

That is the store address and there is another one I’ve made which has products that only have color on them (or some have patterns like glitter or checkerboard, etc.) Some of these can be used as a further visual tools group of products for visual language, mnemonics, organizing tools and adaptive living / compensating strategies elements. They too, can be ordered one at a time or several – and fully customized based on the needs of the moment.

Custom Design Palette Products With Only Color or Nothing But Pattern by CricketDiane (on zazzle)*


Though I haven’t started this blog well yet – its focus is intended to be a further explanation of using visual tools for language, mnemonics, everyday aids to compensate for disabilities’ shortcomings and difficulties. It is especially intended for mental / brain injury / intellectual / and emotional disabilities as from stroke, traumatic brain injury, head injury, domestic violence, post traumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorders (which challenge verbal skill sets.)

With each post, I would hope to explain a little more of how these tools were initially developed by me – to help myself live my daily life as interdependently and independently as possible with the hopes of being fully independent within the community much as anyone else. I say inter-dependently because it is important to realize that a circle of support / a network within the community of trusted advisers, mentors, helpers, friends and sometimes, professionals and social workers – can make it possible to live independently more or less successfully despite disabilities.

But, no one wants to need another to the extent that disabilities would have left me to need another. And, many people including the families of those with disabilities find themselves faced with this dilemma. As much as loved ones love me – neither I nor they want to have to do every single thing my physical living requires in a day – whether it is to wipe my own ass, or to remember to eat and the kinds of things to eat, or to remember how to button a shirt or to remember not to unbutton it in the first place & take it on and off by sliding it over my head.

No other person wants to be responsible for those infinite number of minutiae of everyday living for another person. And, it isn’t healthy for either person anyway. The caregiver tires of it and has their own life to live that was given to them AND the person with the disabilities has the greatest vested interest in being able to do it themselves and it be done right because they live with the real results (especially when it goes horribly wrong.)

I’ve also discovered it is not really safe to fully depend on others regardless. And, as I said – it isn’t healthy – not for the person with the disabilities, not for the caregivers and family members and certainly not for the community in the long run. It denies the full productivity of each one affected by it when the full dependence for everything that needs to be done for daily living of one person is put upon others to do or to keep up with getting it done.

There are vast stores of compensating strategies available for anyone to use. Unfortunately, those are rarely talked about – ever – by anybody. And, the reason for this is simple. No one wants anyone else to know they are using them when they are having to actually use them to function – so they don’t talk about it. The example where it is easy to see it – is for those whose shortcoming is illiteracy – they can’t read. Compensating strategies are often developed by people who have that difficulty including pretending they can read to let others see them doing it even though they can’t and tricking others into telling them what it says in the written words without letting on that they actually can’t read it themselves.

Those are easy to recognize compensating strategies because nearly everyone has heard of them where it concerns people who don’t know how to read. But rarely would anyone who has that problem tell of those things they are doing to compensate for it – and tell it honestly because they don’t feel good about why they are having to do it that way. That’s understandable.

So, the point is this – I’m going to write this blog to speak about visual language tools, visual languages (which are not as simple as a picture of an orange meaning an orange), compensating strategies for specifically brain-originating disabilities, visual and adaptive living tools, independent living for people with disabilities and specifically also about the tools that I’ve developed and have on my store for doing it. (Yes, I still use them myself to successfully navigate through each day and each moment of new tasks, new places, new experiences and understanding previous experiences, among other things.)

Not every tool that I use can be put on my store and some of those I’ll just share here in this blog and others can make them or get the pieces and construct them for themselves. Or, if I’ve found it through some manufacturer, store or resources – I’ll just say that and maybe if someone needs those tools, the things can be bought somewhere still. But, where the visual language tools need defining, explaining or for me to describe how I use them – I’ll put it here in this blog when I get to whatever it is and if someone wants to use it that way – fine. And, if they want to change it to use a somewhat different way – fine. And, if they want to use it exactly the opposite way of what works for me – fine. And, if something new or different is created as a result of being inspired to find some solutions that do work – then all the better and definitely what I want most out of all this.

So, welcome. I hope you will come back and read some more about these tools and strategies for living successfully and independently despite the drawbacks and difficulties of these disabilities. To start this off – I want to put the links here to other posts on my cricketdiane blog where I wrote about the visual and adaptive living tools awhile back – and then I’ll put some new things in the following days and hopefully, copy those posts over to their own special pages here on this blog –

Adaptive Living Tools Using The Visual Languages


And this is the section of my larger store at cricketdiane which has some visual communicative identifiers and adaptive living tools also – (then I realized it needed to have its own store, I might not have put all these onto the adaptive living tools store. I don’t remember now. But I will.)

The section of the CricketDiane Zazzle Store with Visual Identifiers, Visual & Adaptive Living Tools – and the Nothing But Color section that preceded its own store as well – (has other colors than the custom palette store in some cases).

Color Code It & Visual Identifiers Designs (on the CricketDiane main zazzle store)

Nothing But Color Designer Products (on the CricketDiane main zazzle store)


There were several blog post entries that I wrote about the adaptive living tools and visual identifiers – partly to explain how they came to be and why I use them, but also to explain how they can be used by others to make more things possible for them too. They are very customizable so it doesn’t matter if a black square magnet means one thing to me – it can be used another way by other families and people with disabilities to help know something or say something or to remember to do something.

And these two –

Adaptive Living Tools & Visual Language Tools Store by CricketDiane (on zazzle)*


Custom Design Palette Products With Only Color or Nothing But Pattern by CricketDiane (on zazzle)*



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