Information taken from American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and Communication Matters
WHAT IS A VISUAL SCHEDULE?
Visual schedules use images, symbols, and photos to represent activities and transitions throughout the day. A visual schedule creates a structured environment to help individuals know what activities will occur and in what sequence. Visual schedules are often used with children who are diagnostic with autism spectrum disorder.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A VISUAL SCHEDULE?
- Improve sequential memory and organization of time
- Help a child know what is expected of him / her
- Decrease anxiety and as a result possibly decrease any challenging behaviors
- Improve ability to transition between activities
- Provides a system to increase understanding
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF VISUAL SCHEDULES?
Visual schedules may be created for an activity (i.e., brushing teeth), a whole day, week, or even month. Some teachers or therapists may create a visual schedule so that a child knows what to expect during class or during a therapy session. Below are different schedules that can be used:
- Object schedule: This is a very simple schedule where the adult hands an object to a child before starting the next activity. For example, the adult may hand the child a spoon to indicate that they are going to eat lunch next.
- Picture schedule: Pictures are used to represent activities.
- Written schedule: This type of schedule is best for in because everything is written. There are no pictures or symbols on this schedule. Many individuals use written schedules to schedule a busy day.
HOW DO I MAKE A VISUAL SCHEDULE?
- Decide on the type of schedule you will use
- Decide on the length of the schedule
- Will the schedule be for the whole day? For a month? For an activity?
- Teach the schedule to your child
- At the beginning you may show the object of the picture to your child before doing that activity
- Be consistent when using the picture so that your child learns the schedule
- Make changes if needed
OUR APPROACHES AT KEY THERAPIES:
At Key Therapies visual schedules will be utilized to lessen anxiety, aid in comprehension, demonstrate desired behaviors, and help in understanding of time concepts.