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Schedules Overview

Picture cards can be used to build schedules to organize and structure daily activities. For home use, a picture card schedule can portray entire day's activities, or detail the mini steps of one activity, such as brushing teeth. "On the fly" drawings can help reduce anxiety brought on by a change in plans, or just let someone know what comes next. For school use, a picture schedule can list the day's activities as well as mini schedules, such as what things need to be done when you enter the classroom (put up backpack, put away lunch box, hang up coat, sit at desk). Often, the more stress caused by a situation, the more structure needed. High-stress situations require a more detailed breakdown using sequential pictures.

Each routine is learned by doing tasks in sequential order. Many people need schedules only temporarily to learn certain sequences. Other routines will always need to be presented in a visual format. The goal is to create an environment where each person can operate successfully.

building a morning schedule

Many parents and teachers are initially intimidated by the task of making schedules. Their reasons include fear of over-structuring their lives, concern that schedules are too much work to make, fear that they cannot draw well enough and concern about what happens if the schedule changes. Here is what we suggest. Just get started, see how easy it becomes, and the power of communicating it allows will make the task worthwhile.

Step 1: We have provided simple, black and white picture cards in the print cards section of our site. To build a customized morning schedule, review the 2 inch images section. Select, print and cut out the appropriate picture cards.

Step 2: Attach each picture card by paper clip in sequential order on a heavy piece of paper or cardboard.

Step 3: Instruct the learner to remove the picture card as the activity is completed and put in a designated "finished" container. This teaches the concept of completing an activity and transitioning to the next. Keep the schedule in the bedroom or wherever the morning routine takes place.

RULES TO REMEMBER:

BREAK IT DOWN and WRITE IT DOWN!

further breakdown

If someone is having difficulty with one step of the morning schedule, you can divide that step into more detail.