A visual schedule is the term used when you set up any sort of visual reminder, schedule or plan for the day, week or month. Visual Schedules can utilize photos, drawings, words, and numbers. Often time’s children are visual learners when a parent realizes that their child benefits from a visual schedule and utilizes this to their advantage, the day goes by a lot smoother. If you have a child that has Autism you might be told that a visual schedule can help your child tremendously.
Visual Schedules – The Easy to Follow Guide for Parents
While the idea of setting up a visual schedule may seem overwhelming at first, it’s so worth the time and effort involved. We live in a world where most people use smartphones and other devices to give visual reminders of our day to day tasks, appointments, and important events. This same concept that adults use in today’s society stands true for children.
Benefits of a Visual Schedule
Using a visual schedule reduces anxiety and stress during transitions. Many children who are on the spectrum tend to struggle with transitions. Having a visual schedule serves as a reminder to your child that a transition will happen and a time when that transition will happen.
When a child learns to use a visual schedule in their day to day life, they tend to learn the concept of time easier. I am not talking about learning time on a clock, but time as a general concept. Children will learn before, after, last and upcoming concepts easier with a visual schedule.
A visual schedule will also help support improvement in the area of literacy. Your child will start to learn reading on a deeper level. As you work verbally reminding your child of the visual schedule, they can place your words with the written words or photos on the visual schedule. This helps encourage enhanced literacy skills without much effort.
Setting up a Visual Schedule
There are many types of visual schedules. Depending on the age and level of literacy function for your child will depend upon which option you utilize. Here are some options for setting up a visual schedule:
Picture Visual Schedule
This is setting up your child’s daily routine based on photos only. This is a great way to set up a visual schedule for children who can match photos with what the task may be. You could have a poster board with photos of various tasks in order of how they will occur during the day. You may use this concept for younger children and others who may excel better with photo schedules versus written words.
Object Visual Schedule
For some children who struggle with literacy, an object visual schedule may work best. Items such as a ball, toilet paper or toy car can be used with a small list of the items. These items can be placed on an unused desk or tabletop in the home. Each item will represent daily tasks such as toilet paper for going to the bathroom, a ball for a stress break, etc.
Picture Cards and Written Schedules
Setting up a poster board with written words alongside photos can truly work well for a beginning reader or a child who is fluent in literacy already. The words can be typed out or written out and placed around the home or on a large poster board. This visual schedule that is based on written words can truly work well from the stage of early reading up into teen years to keep things manageable. This is our favorite type of Visual Schedule.
If, after reading all of this, you are still slightly confused about the benefits or how to set up your very first visual schedule, you can find online printables HERE. These printables are easily printed from your home computer to use without extra work on your end.
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