Visuals in a severe-needs classroom

Most sped. teachers are LOVE visuals, but severe-needs teachers often have to go crazy on the visuals because we still have so many non-readers. At the beginning of the school year, I assigned each student a different shape/color. I labelled every students' things with that shape/color (and paired with the written name).
A ton of items in the classroom are labelled with their shape/color, including:

  • Our independent work time boxes and areas

  • Attendance during circle time

  •  Our tables and desks

  •  Our bathroom bins

  • Our data wall/ data clipboards

One of the cool things about this system is it fosters some independence Most of our students are able to find their bin in the bathroom and grab a diaper without any help from us (we have even switched the location of the baskets and the students are able to discriminate which one is theirs). We have also moved their name tags on tables and they've been able to find their new spot. In circle time, we have removed some of the shapes/color coding and a few students are able to identify their written name without the shape/color now too!

Do you have a visual system that works great with your students?