Saturday, September 10, 2011

How to Create a Visual Schedule, Sky-style

Another way we are encouraged to help Sky is to create visual cues to keep him organized during transitional moments. Since, like a lot of kids on the spectrum, he has language processing issues, it makes sense that he favors visual guides over verbal ones. And he stinks at transitioning between activities (which means he's particularly bad first thing in the morning and when he comes home from school).

Fortunately, there's an app for this. This app lets us use pictures we have taken of Sky doing the behaviors we want him to do. We can put the pictures in order and add captions.

So for our "After School" schedule, we have a picture of Sky taking off his shoes, putting his dirty clothes in the washing machine, washing his hands, taking things out of his backpack, doing his homework, eating a snack, and watching TV. He loved taking the pics and making the schedule, and since he's visually oriented, he immediately memorized and internalized the schedule.

Before the app, we were left to our own devices. Not only can I not create a social story, I also can't draw a picture. Nor am I inclined to collect pictures from magazines or the internet. So it took us awhile to get going on the visual scheduling. When it finally occurred to me to take advantage of Sky's talents, we started to make progress. I had him draw pictures for his morning schedule. He did all the work. All I had to do was laminate the cards, punch holes, and connect them with a metal ring. See? I'm not totally useless. (This is Sky's rendition of "Wake Up.")

When you find out your kid has special needs, it doesn't take long to figure out that you're going to have to be resourceful to help your kid through the challenges those needs present. I get that. I'm even okay with it. I just wish it didn't mean I had to be creative!

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