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- June 9, 2011
- by Christine
- daily schedule, routine, visual schedule,
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As we all know, autistic children crave for structure and routine in their daily lives. It makes them feel comfortable and it gives them a sense of security when they know what will happen in the exact moment it will happen.
To help achieve this, it is best that you create a daily schedule which your child has access to. Put it in an area where it is easy for your child to see it. You can put it in his room, in the kitchen, or even in the family room. The important thing is that he knows where it is so he can refer to it when needed.
You can use a whiteboard, a felt board, a calendar or even some plain, colorful paper to make your child’s daily schedule. Write down the things he needs to do in detail. Start from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes back to bed. Plan his day well and make sure that this is communicated to him. Have a notebook where you can take note of his schedule and activities. You can also use this notebook to keep track of any issues that may have come up on his schedule.
Also keep in mind that autistic children are very visual and would benefit from having some photos and graphics to go with your written schedule. This is especially true for an activity that he may not have fully mastered well. For example, if your child is to brush his teeth, you can create a step by step photo or image of the things he needs to do to brush his teeth. The first image could be of a person holding his toothbrush and toothpaste. The second image could be of a person putting toothpaste on his toothbrush. Do this for all the steps he needs to complete.
Should you foresee any changes to his schedule, it is best that you plan to incorporate the new addition to his schedule slowly. Do not just impose it. What you need to do is to introduce the new activity gradually. Be patient and be ready for the possibility that he may not like the new addition. This is not unusual but will definitely wane out as he becomes more comfortable with it.