By Leslie Lindsay
Think it’s hard for you to remember everything that goes into a day? What about your children? They, too want to know what is going on and how it affects them. You may consider creating a picture schedule to be used at home–this is especially great for kiddos who are in the Pre-K+ set; that is, they are beginning to see that each day has distinct characteristics, yet just beginning to grasp the concept of time, and developing pre-reading skills.
Not only does it help the kiddos, but it just may help you, too. You won’t have to repeat yourself 50 million times a day about what is going to happen; kids can just refer back to the picture schedule.
How does it work? Well, I created a rough-draft of our week by first sketching out a Monday thru Friday “calendar” by placing in things I know typically happen, those “set” events: leave for school, exercise, preschool, soccer, homework, dinner, bath, etc.
Then, I took that schedule and made a Word document for each day, placing the day of the week at the top of the page. I found clip art that matched our daily events; in some cases I even inserted actual photographs of my kids. The front of the page was big enough to hold the day, while the back of the page included our evening routine.
I laminated them in my handy-dandy home laminator (you can find one at an office supply store for about $30), hold-punched each one and secured them all with a binder ring.
Each evening, I leave the page open to the next day and place it in an area where my early-riser will see it (today she was awake at 4:50am). She often tells me what is going on that day when I finally lumber out of bed at the late hour of 7am.
You can do it, too! Here are some suggestions from other sites to get you started:
- Great article from Dawn Villarreal of One Place for Special Needs on the value of picture schedules http://www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com/main/library_control_tantrums.html
- Another article from Becca Jarzysnki, CCC-SLP and her blog, ChildTalk, www.talkingkids.org at http://www.talkingkids.org/2011/09/using-pictures-to-help-with-beginning.html
- Woodbine House’s band-new book, A Pictures Worth: PECS and other visual communication strategies in autism by Andy Bondy, PhD and Lisa Frost, M.S.
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