Visual schedules - What are they and how can they be used?

Children can have difficulties understanding verbal instructions or what is expected of them within a routine. A visual schedule shows your child the order of upcoming activities or events through the use of pictures and words. It can also break down the steps of a specific activity. 

 

Does your child have difficulties following instructions or understanding a routine?

This can be quite common, particularly for children with language difficulties. 

Children can have difficulties understanding verbal instructions or what is expected of them within a routine. A visual schedule shows your child the order of upcoming activities or events through the use of pictures and words. It can also break down the steps of a specific activity. 

Why use a visual schedule.


Sometimes, it is difficult for your child to process an instruction because they need to focus on: 

a) listening to what you say, and 
b) completing the activity itself. 

A visual schedule is a simple way of breaking down instructions within an activity. The instructions are paired with photos, which support your child to independently follow instructions as they simplify the task.

A visual schedule helps set up expectations and routines, such as a morning routine. It can also help your child cope with changes in their routine, as the visuals support their understanding of what to expect. 

How to use the visual schedule.

A visual schedule is used to show your child what activities will be completed. Here’s an example of what this might look like this image.

Take your child to the schedule and discuss each activity that will occur in order. This will set up their expectations. When an activity is completed, remove the activity from the schedule and use it to show your child what activity is next. Continue this until you complete all tasks on the schedule. 

Click on the thumbnail to expand image.

What would I expect to see in my child if I implement a visual schedule at home.

•    Improvements with following a routine.  
•    Improvements dealing with changes in their routine. 
•    Following instructions for simple activities. 
•    Increased independence. 
•    Increased ability to cope with (and completing) non-preferred activities, such as homework, in their routine. 

How can a Speech Pathologist help?

A Speech Pathologist can develop images that are specifically tailored to your child’s routines and needs.

Written by Natalie Tsourtouras
02 8065 1197
info@speechinfocus.com.au

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