|When someone asks me what to do about their child or student who has difficulty with transitions, say the child doesn’t want to shower or do homework after playing, or if the child loves to read but then doesn’t want to switch to math in class, or if the child went to a friend’s house and doesn’t want to come home, etc., what is my #1 go-to strategy? Visual Schedules!”
Telling” kids the schedule is not enough. “Showing” them the schedule is far more powerful. And when they get upset about the upcoming item on the schedule, you can blame the schedule in a compassionate tone, as in “Oh no. It’s time to take a shower. I know you’d rather play, but what are you gonna do? It’s the next thing on the schedule. We have to keep following the schedule.
1. Hang the schedule in a prominent place in your home or classroom. For example, the morning routine schedule and the bedtime routine schedule can hang in the bedroom. The afternoon/evening schedule can hang in the dining room or kitchen. The classroom schedule can be on the whiteboard or on the student’s desk.
2. Review the visual schedule with your child or student daily.
3. Use index cards for each item on the schedule and use velcro or FUN-TAK to make the cards movable or changeable when necessary.
4. Stick to the schedule as much as possible so that the child takes it seriously.
5. Most importantly, the schedule doesn’t have to be fancy. It just has to be drawn and hung up.
Have a Great week!