The Effectiveness of Visual Schedules for kids with Autism

Source: Autism Parenting

Everyday tasks can prove to be a challenge with an autistic child because they need constant reminders.  Transitioning from one task to another can cause anxiety or a meltdown to occur.  However, social stories, visual schedules, and reminder strips can help alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the everyday tasks that so many of us do with ease.

To many parents, hearing the word “schedule” can be overbearing.  When it was first suggested that I create a picture/visual schedule for my autistic child, I thought that it wouldn’t be helpful. I mean, if my child is already so rigid with the order of things – wouldn’t creating a schedule make her even more dependent on everything being in order all the time?  I came up with many excuses to avoid making the first picture chart.  I found it intimidating to create charts and schedules, but at the same time I understood that no one could make the chart for us.  Since every family has their own routine, it must be created for the individual.  Of course, there are some tasks that need to be performed everyday such as waking up, going to the bathroom, getting dressed, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, combing hair, and putting on shoes.  However, on weekdays “putting on shoes” would be followed by “put on coat” and “get on the bus.”  The problem is, my child wasn’t attending school every day of the week and was too young to understand the days of the week.  So then I would have to deal with meltdowns when the weekend came or if there was a cancelation of school because of inclement weather. Click here to read the rest of the story.

15 Visual Schedule Resources

Imagine during the course of the day you have no idea what is expected of you. Moving from one activity to the next depending on others to inform you of your daily plans. there are many benefits to using visual schedules especially for autistic children and adults. Studies show that many people diagnosed with autism experience high levels of anxiety often caused by unstructured activities.

Visual schedules are a way to communicate an activity through the use of images, symbols, photos, words, numbers and drawings that will help a child or adult follow rules and guidelines and understand what is expected during the course of the day.

Th following are resources containing information on creating visual schedules and free printables:

8 types of visual student schedules

Building a daily schedule

Daily visual schedule for kids free printable

Examples of classroom and individual schedule and activity cards

Free picture schedule

Free visual schedule printables to help kids with daily routines

Free visual school schedules

How to templates- visual schedules

How to use visuals purposefully and effectively

Time to eat visual schedules

Using visual schedules: A guide for parents

Visual schedule for toddlers

Visual schedule resources

Visual supports and autism spectrum disorders

What is visual scheduling?

May Special Needs Articles

Welcome to the May article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of May on special needs and developmental disability topics. Enjoy!

5 things I learned from being an autism dad (Fatherly)

7 toilet training tips that help nonverbal kids with autism (Autism Speaks)

8 ingenious innovations helping autistic children communicate (Mashable)

9 important things autism moms want people to know (Autism Magazine)

10 steps to include students with autism in general education classrooms (Think Inclusive)

After an autism diagnosis: 13 necessary next steps for parents (Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism)

An overlooked resource- people with disabilities (Think Inclusive)

Author tells own story of life with cerebral palsy (Madison Magazine)

Autism: The hidden talent that shows up in the workplace (Business Standard)

Gaming may help kids with ADHD (The Newspaper)

How to help children with autism make, and keep friends (Chicago Tribune)

Kids treated for ADHD can still struggle in school, especially girls (Reuters)

The joys and challenges of being a parent with autism (The Atlantic)

Using visual schedules to get a child with autism organized in 45 minutes (Autismag)

What sensory processing disorder says about autism (Spectrum)

What Kind of Visual Schedule Do I Need?

Knowing what kind of visual schedule a student needs is a tough question we all deal with in special education and autism. Some students can use pictures or even written schedules while others need object schedules. I'm sharing my decision-making process for deciding where to start and when/how to make changes.

 

 

 

Source: Autism Classroom Resources

Have you ever wondered how to decide what kind of visual schedule to use for your students? There are so many types of visual schedules from object schedules, picture schedules, photo schedules to written schedules.  Knowing which type is best for which students can be a difficult process.  We don’t have a ton of guidelines about how to make decisions other than trial and error.  However, I thought I would share my process to give some tips of where to start. Click here to read the rest of the article