There are many benefits to using a visual schedule with your child. Visual schedules or visual charts can be a powerful tool for keeping your child organized, staying focused, and reducing meltdowns. You may have read some of my posts that mention my daughter and some of her sensory issues. This post will help you understand why using a visual schedule not only helps the average child but for children with autism, A.D.D., anxiety, or sensory issues it makes a huge difference.
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Sofia’s daycare readiness level for elementary school is high, which means their format for the day is very structured. Having sensory challenges she needs extra aids (wiggle seat, hand fidget, etc.) to help her achieve her classroom activities and goals. Starting in the fall she will enter V.P.K., so currently she is at the point where her day at school is filled with various learning centers, circle times, and even assigned little jobs, etc. To keep the children on track, the teachers use visual schedules for the week and for each day. This helps the children immensely (especially Sofia) with the transition of each center or to stay in her space and complete tasks. It only made sense for me to start using a visual schedule at home for her morning and night time routines.
Prior to using the visual schedule I was starting to sound like a possessed demon trying not to scream or lose my shizit before leaving for work in the morning. I can’t count how many times I will repeat myself (Beg) to Please. Finish. Eating. or Please Put Your Shoes On!! I mean 20 minutes to eat one plain soft waffle (because we don’t like butter) or a bowl of Cheerios and I just get a bit cranky. I literally want to rip my eyebrows out. Can anyone relate??
Therefore using a visual schedule or chart with pictures at home was simply a no-brainer. Having a visual daily schedule for Sofia has improved our morning and nighttime routines dramatically and improved our day-to-day-life. I also created a “First and Then” Chart. When I need to redirect or have Sofia finish a chore etc. I use this to show her First we will put away our toys and Then we can watch TV. Seeing it visually for some reason becomes easier for her to stay on track. This also works great for when she has to finish a chore (put away her toys) first so that then she can watch a t.v. show.
So if you are looking to help your child with their daily routines and transitions, or you need to save your sanity, I highly recommend either getting some of these visual schedules from my resource library or making your own. To assemble, you print out the schedule and picture tasks and then laminate the sheet and each of the pictures. Lastly, you apply velcro to the visual schedule or first and then sheet and then to the back of the pictures. Voila! You are on the road to an easier life for you and your child.
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