March 26, 2020

Being able to follow a schedule is an important skill for every child and can be more challenging for children with special needs. At KCC visual schedules are used everyday as an effective tool in developing this skill in students of all ages and abilities.

Now more than ever, predictability and routine are important in getting kids (and ourselves!) through an uncertain time.

Click here to download a visual schedule that you can use at home to help create structure and ease anxiety that may develop due to changes in expectations and routines.

Why use a visual schedule?

A visual schedule will let your child know what’s expected using pictures not words – words disappear, pictures stay.

It also gives them the opportunity to make choices and have some control in their day. Watch this short clip to see how.

Tips for using a visual schedule at home

  • You can use pictures (like a “first/then” board) or text (like a check-off to do list) – whichever works best for your child.
  • Let your child know when preferred activities are available and how much “work” time is required.
  • Use the schedule to remove negotiation and argument – “It’s what the schedule says.”
  • Use the schedule as an antecedent strategy – to PREVENT challenging behaviour. The schedule should not only be referred to during challenging behaviour.
  • Always include preferred activities interspersed with non-preferred activities (think: What’s in it for them?).