How to use visual schedules to set routine and structure

The visual schedule can be a useful tool to get things done. They come in many different shapes and sizes, literally. There can be one task or many. They give clear and concise communication and can make transitions smoother. They change and adjust to fit you and your child. The key is to not put too many things on your schedule. It can get overwhelming fast.

I approach the visual schedule by identifying an anchor activity. The anchor activity is the main activity you have to get done. Everything else works around that activity. For me, it’s eating. We need to eat. So morning before breakfast looks like this:

My morning routine with Audric.

Tip: And you don’t have to use a software. I draw, use cutouts from magazines or circular ads. I use Google images.

Instead of brush teeth, I use wash face. Audric is learning to do his own self-care, and he understands brush teeth. You can really go into detail with visual schedules, but try not to. It should take you less than 5 minutes to make one. Don’t over think this. I say this lovingly, because I usually spend a lot of time looking for the right picture, and it’s not worth it. Audric associates the item by how I model it, so a picture is just a placeholder. Something to do after this one over here, and the next one there.

How are you with routines and structure? Do you use visual schedules? Let me know. Leave a comment below.

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Amy By Amy