Helpful Hints for Using Visual Schedules
Imagine you have to give a two hour presentation in front of your collegues and boss. Now imagine you’re given notice of this presentation with only 30 minutes to prepare.
How would you feel? Unprepared? Flustered? Angry? Panicked? For many children with sensory processing difficulties, changes in routine or a novel activity can be just as difficult to handle. These children often benefit from a clear visual schedule of the day’s events so they can prepare themselves for the sensory demands of the activities they are expected to complete.
Visual schedules are a great way to help your child understand the daily tasks, challenges and fun activities that the day will bring. Using picture schedules may help reinforce routines, such as getting ready for school, or assist with transitions during the day. Even children who can read can benefit from the use of pictures, as it may be faster for them to comprehend the schedule visually.
Decide how much detail your child requires. Is “Get Dressed” sufficient? Or does your child need a picture for each article of clothing to help with sequencing? Does your child have difficulty with changes in routine? You may want to add a symbol such as a star to represent a change in typical routines. Talk to your therapist for tips to best support your child.