Autistic children thrive with routines and predictability.
As a parent of a non-verbal autistic child, I have learned this first hand. Sometimes the hard way. But it became more of a matter of altering the environment to better work for my daughter.
Whether it’s at home or school, my autistic child benefits from visual schedules.And what better way than to use free printables for autistic children to set those schedules up.
3 Meaningful Ways Autistic Children Benefit from Visual Schedules
It may seem like common sense. At least for me. I’ve come to know that my daughter is more of a visually oriented person. Part of that has to do with her being non-verbal and using sign language or PECS to communicate her wants and needs. But, what has worked at school in terms of using a visual schedule with PECS, has not always worked at home.
Some suggestions to work around this is to create your own using digital pictures that you print out of familiar items. You can also mix and match from my own free printables for autistic children. Start with the daily routine as your base and then add in others as needed. I have also created a personal schedule printable pack at a modest price.
But how, exactly, do visual schedules benefit autistic children?
- They provide a visual base for a routine and structure. You can show them when something is going to happen rather than just telling them when something is going to happen.
- Visual schedules help take some of the surprise out of the day by implementing predictability. Of course, while you cannot control everything, a visual schedule can be of great help if your daily routines don’t vary too much from day to day.
- Visual schedules can help increase independence by giving the autistic child control. By having a representation of what’s going to happen and when; they might be able to perform activities more independently over time.
Visual schedules have been incredibly beneficial for my autistic daughter. They have provided structure, routine, and predictability. Three things that help her avoid meltdowns.
We implement and utilize visual schedules for almost everything when it comes to filling the importance of routine for autism.
If it can be created into a visual schedule, then chances are that we’ve done it. From a morning routine to a bedtime routine, to a school day routine, to a mealtime routine; visual schedules have played an important part in our lives.
You can also use My Personal Schedule to set up a visual schedule.
- Schedule charts
- Calendar pieces
- Weather cards
- Clothing cards
- School/Routine Cards
- Mood/Feeling cards
It expands on My Daily Routine printable pack and can also be combined with my upcoming expanded Daily Routine pack. That one will have visual schedule options, social stories, and card-only options for convenience.
I know that having a schedule greatly helps me with daily life, so I cannot begin to imagine how much it must benefit my autistic daughter.