Visual schedules are a great tool and intervention to help with routine, transition, communication, and learning a new skill. Visual schedules can be produced in a variety of ways. You can use PECS, which is a Picture Exchange Communication System, for children who are in need of language support. You can also use a “First, Then” board, checklist, photographs, drawings, objects, or anything that could be a visual support to aide in developing a schedule. When the child is ready, they can make choices on building their schedule and check off a task when it’s completed to foster independence and a sense of accomplishment. Choice Maker app is an awesome tool to use when creating a visual schedule.
How can visual schedules/supports be used? What are the benefits of a visual schedule?
•Create a schedule of activities or goals to be completed for the day
•Provides a visual block of time
•Shows sequential steps of a task such as brushing teeth or getting ready for school
•Can improve functional living skills
•Offers choices and decision making skills
•Can provide routine and consistency
•Provides a sense of what to expect throughout the day
Providing a visual schedule or a visual support system is a great way to build in a routine, understanding of a new task, reduce the anxiety of the unknown, and foster independence. ABA is a type of therapy that provides evidence-based treatment to teach functional skills, decrease interfering or problem behaviors, increase socially appropriate behaviors, and increase overall quality of life.