Developing and maintaining routines helps children (especially those on the Autism Spectrum) participate in scheduled activities while decreasing the feeling of stress and anxiety often involved with changes in expected routine. Visual schedules, used effectively, can help a child gain more understanding and independence in completing daily activities. A great accomplishment for him or her, and a little less work for you!
Here's an example of a simple visual schedule for a morning routine:
and one with more details, including a reward:
Schedules can be posted or portable, vertical or horizontal, and use pictures (clipart, drawings, photos) or words, according to each child's needs. Often pictures are removable to indicate changes or substitutions in routine.
See more examples by googling: picture (or visual) schedules for autism and look at images.
Websites to check out: do2learn.com, boardmakershare.com
At Autism Journeys, we use a variety of pictures schedules, for a variety of purposes. Together with the client and family, we develop visual aides to serve individual needs. Other examples include:
- bedtime and naptime routines
- when I work, play, get a break, watch tv, etc
- how to greet someone
- steps in personal hygiene routines
- what will happen going on vacation
- completing homework
- going to the doctor/dentist
Think of the possibilities!
Dawn Gummersall, M.S., CCC-SLP