Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental delays learn more easily, express more interest, have fewer behavior problems and demonstrate increasing independence within consistent routines.Visual schedules can assist students in understanding these routines, such as the transition routine.
Visual schedules can supplement natural environmental cues so that students understand the sequence of events when it is time to transition to a new activity. Schedules can answer important questions such as: Where am I going?, For how long?, What do I do next?. It tells the student “what to do” by focusing the student’s attention on the necessary information needed to move through their day.
Students should be provided with a visual schedule appropriate to their functioning level and should be expected to use their schedules independently. Learning to follow visual information independently teaches students to access important information for themselves, instead of relying on constant adult directions. This life skill can later translate into skills such as: following a GPS, written directions or a map, and signs at an airport or on the street. Whether beginning with object, photo, drawing or word schedules, visual schedules for transitions are easy to create and use within the school setting and more importantly, they work!
Here are a few tips for creating and using visual schedules with students:
1. Use a "check schedule" icon as an easy and effective way to remind the student to check their schedule.