Wondering how to make a visual schedule for your child with autism? It’s easier than you think and you will be so happy you did it. Visual schedules help autistic learners know exactly which activities need to be completed during the day. They can also help children with autism follow particular steps to complete an activity, such as toothbrushing. They help decrease frustration and increase compliance and joy in your home or classroom throughout the day. You can read about the 10 benefits of using a visual schedule with children with autism in this post.
This video will give you an idea of what it looks like to use a visual schedule with an autistic learner :
How to make a visual schedule
Materials you will need :
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- Laminating sheets
- Velcro dots
- Magnetic tape
- Visual schedule support : I love this felt one and this this magnetic one for home.
Step 1 :
Make a list of the activities that you would like to include in the visual schedule. This could be 2 or more different activities or various steps to complete a desired outcome. For example, you could have play with legos, have a snack, go out to play, use the bathroom, do a table activity on your child’s visual schedule. You could also have the necessary steps to play with legos on your visual schedule : go get the box of legos off the shelf, spread the legos out on the floor, use a photo model to create a lego tower and clean up the legos.
Step 2 :
Take a clear photo of each activity or step of an activity that you would like to include in your visual schedule.
Step 3 :
Decide on the size of photos you would like to use for your visual schedule and print out the photos you will need.
Step 4 :
Laminate the photos and cut them out.
Step 5 :
Based on the visual support you have decided to use for your child’s visual schedule, you will need to add a magnet or velcro to the back of your visual schedule. (I love this magnetic tape and this velcro roll. This visual support works like a charm.)
Step 6 :
Make a support for your visual schedule(s). There are many different support options, from using magnetic tape to use your child’s visual schedule photos on the fridge, to using a portable visual schedule support with velcro dots. If you’re looking for a support for your visual schedule, I love this felt one and this this magnetic one for home. For a simpler DIY version, you can laminate a piece of paper and use velcro to stick your visual schedule photos to it.
Which visual schedule for children will you be making?
Some popular visual schedules you may want to create and use in your home or classroom :
- Toothbrushing visual schedule
- Visual schedules for students
- Daily visual schedule for autism classrooms / children with autism to use at home
- First then visual schedule template
Visual schedule examples
This is is an example of a visual schedule for autistic learners showing 3 activities : (1) a fish bowl play dough mat activity (you can download the printable activity here), (2) sand play with sand toys and (3) playing on the iPad. This shows your child that he or she needs to do the these 3 activities in this order. Perhaps the first 2 are more “work” activities at the table and playing for 10 minutes on the iPad is the reinforcer he or she will receive after completing the first 2 tasks. The visual schedule allows your child to know exactly what is expected.
This visual schedule for children with autism shows nighttime routines : (1) take a bath, (2) use the toilet, (3) brush your teeth and (4) go to sleep.
This is an example of a visual schedule for autistic learners that shows (1) taking the car, (2) going to the grocery store, (3) playing with legos and (4) eating dinner.
How to make a visual schedule
Use these 6 easy steps to make your own visual schedule, or several visual schedules, to use at home.
Now that you know how to make a visual schedule, learn more about using visual schedules with autistic learners
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