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Visual Schedules

A visual schedule is a representation of activity steps through pictures. This visual representation of actions expected of a child can help set expectations as well as facilitate transitions between activities as the visual schedule prepares them for these transitions. The visual picture of the intended activity allows the child to comprehend what is expected of them through symbols, charts, or pictures rather than words or auditory instructions to promote socially acceptable behavior. Visual schedules provide children with the tools and reminders that may assist them in completing everyday activities.

Here are some tips to try at home to create your own visual schedule:

● Invite the child to a reward after the completion of the tasks from the visual schedule.

The reward could also be included on the visual schedule.

● Make pictures which Velcro for routine activities in your household. This can allow you

to have the activities as a visual symbol for any order of expectations you would like the

child to complete

● Create the visual schedule collaboratively with your child to promote engagement in

activities as well as attention to tasks. Using a collaborative approach to create and

execute the visual schedule can provide a more meaningful experience for the child.

● Allow the child to check off/remove the activity when they complete it and refer back to

the schedule after task completion to practice following the visual instructions.

Schneider, N., & Goldstein, H. (2010). Using Social Stories and Visual Schedules to Improve

Socially Appropriate Behaviors in Children With Autism. Journal of Positive Behavior

Interventions, 12(3), 149–160.

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