How To : Daily Schedule
Throughout the school year, Arizona’s schedule doesn’t vary much. But when we have long school breaks or holidays, it can be overwhelming for her to not know what her days will look like.
Like most children on the spectrum, Arizona responds well to visual schedules. As Albert Einstein said, “If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.”
This week has very little structure. Summer camp hasn’t started yet and school is out.
During weeks like these, Arizona and I will sit down and write out her basic schedule for the day as we are eating breakfast together. We illustrate each line item with a colorful picture. This way, we are starting our day off knowing and understanding what the plan is. Arizona is so much more regulated on these days.
Some benefits of visual schedules for children on the spectrum are :
- Helping to reduce a child’s anxiety about the “unknowns” of the day. This also helps reduce challenging behaviors.
- Helping to increase a child’s flexibility and lessening rigidity and perseverating on certain ideas
- Helping the child to feel more independent and in control of their life
What ways do you help your child get ready for a change in schedule? How do you help lessen their anxiety about the unknowns?