Visual Schedules and Autism
How stressed out are you by daily routines? What about your kids? I mean, it’s something that we do, as a household, every.single.day. Why does it have to be so stressful? Most of us do not use visual schedules at home though many kids use them at school. These free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines might help make things easier.
Kids with autism may have more difficulty coping with unstructured time than other kids. They may benefit from the increased structure in their lives. Also, printable schedules can help a child with anxiety who is often fretting over “what is going to happen next.” A visual schedule helps them plan and prepare even if the next activity is non-preferred. Most of all, these visual schedules are free! I hope this makes your mornings easier.
What is a Visual Schedule?
From Wikipedia: Visual schedules use a series of pictures to communicate a series of activities or the steps of a specific activity. They are often used to help children understand and manage daily events in their lives. They can be created using pictures, photographs, or written words, depending upon the ability of the child.
I am going to try a few of these. My son has limited communication skills. We’ve never done this at home but I know he uses printable schedules at school. Sesame Street just launched some new Daily Routine Cards. I think I may try those first.
Benefits of using Visual Schedules
The advantages of using these free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines for children with autism are:
- help utilizes the individual’s visual strengths and therefore provides a receptive communication system to increase understanding
- It helps the individual to learn new things and broaden their interests
- It provides tools that allow the individual to use skills in a variety of settings
- predictability can help the individual remain calm and reduces inappropriate behaviors
- child can develop independence and resulting self-esteem
Tip for using these free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines: Look below, and definitely print the first one. Then find others that suit your needs and print that to use with number 1.
Reasons that Parents may not use Visual Schedules in the Home.
Despite these benefits, setting up a picture schedule can seem like a daunting, time-consuming task for many parents. Keep in mind that the schedule doesn’t have to be perfect.
Maybe you want to have your child browse these with you and help choose them. I also have included links to purchase schedules if you don’t want to make your own.
30 Reasons to Use Visual Schedules
- Help kids learn sight words.
- Better for kids who learn visually rather than auditory.
- Allow for independence-child can see what is coming next, rather than asking.
- Help some kids plan for transitions.
- They are evidence-based.
If you are still trying to get your school or your team use visual schedules, consider printing this out and sharing it with them.
Additionally, the time you invest in creating schedules now can save you time later correcting behaviors. Furthermore, it is also likely to save your son or daughter time by increasing their skills and independence.
But, in order to make it easier for you, I have found more than 30 free printable visual schedules. I numbered them so that if you share this post with your child’s team members, you’ll know which printable visual schedule you are talking about.
Daily Visual Schedules for Kids
- First,_next,_then_boards by Seomra Ranga
- Morning Routine printable by Laura’s Crafty Life
- Daily Routine Printables 2 by Get Snazzy
- Unknown Source (click to make bigger and print!)
- Printable Routine Cards by Childhood 101
- Morning routine printable schedule by From ABCs to ACTs
- Printable Daily Routine-getting dressed by Living Well with Autism
- Daily Bathroom Routine-Toileting
- Home and Daily Routine-night time
- Printable Morning Routine-including medications
- Printable Morning Routine-no meds
- Clothing Cards to use with morning routines by Do2Learn*
- Daily Routine Cards-Dressing and Undressing-use with morning and night time by Do2Learn*
- Organized Routine Printables by All Things Fee*
- Daily Routine Printables 4 by Priceless Parenting*
- Small Visual Schedule Printables by Living Well With Autism*
- Various Printable Schedule Cards by And Next Comes L*
- Huge List of Task Card Printables by Victories n’ Autism*
- Morning Visual Routine Printable Flash Cards by Living Locurto*
- Morning Schedule Printable by I Should Be Mopping the Floor*
- DIY Picture Chore Chart tutorial by My Name is Snickerdoodle*
- DIY Hanging Visual Schedule tutorial by How Does She*
- DIY Weekly Magnetic Visual Board with Printables by So You Think You’re Crafty
- Daily Visual Schedule for Kids Free Printable by Natural Beach Living
- Daily Activity and Task Cards by Victories N Autism
- INCLUDES: One 18” tri-folding, reversible, dry-erase magnetic board, 21 headings, 36 stars, and 72 home-themed laminated activity magnets for the easy setup of an instant visual schedule
- MULTI-AGE PRODUCT: With our dual purpose board, 21 unique headings and activities magnets that span from simple routines to chores, this visual schedule offers many functions for multiple ages
- NO ASSEMBLY: You’ve got everything you need to start using a visual schedule with your child the minute it arrives; simply set up your design and hang it with the provided nylon rope
- BEHAVIORAL GAME CHANGER: A must have for parents with a strong-willed child, type-A child, distracted or forgetful child, visual learner, child with ADHD or on the Autism Spectrum
- SPEAKS YOUR KIDS LANGUAGE: Kids are very visual and they "get" pictures-receptive communication is stronger when they can see what your telling them putting everyone on the same page
- INCLUDES: SchKIDules Deluxe Bundle includes an 18” tri-folding reversible board, 21 headings, 36 stars, 72 home themed magnets, 30 school themed magnets and 30 special needs themed magnets for the easy setup of an instant visual schedule.
- MULTI-PURPOSE: kids visual schedule features new folding, reversible magnetic board offering parents lots of choices for set up. Choose the blue side for daily schedule use. The yellow for weekly progress chart use. The folded panel for a smaller focus or a token board.
- READY TO USE: You’ve got everything you need to hang this visual schedule board and start using it right away. It comes with a hanging nylon rope, and all of our visual magnet picture cards from SchKIDules home, school and specials collections. Magnets and board are dry erase too!
- BEHAVIORAL GAME CHANGER: You may fall in love with this easy to use visual scheduler for kids. If you have a strong-willed child, type a child, distracted or forgetful children, preschool toddlers who prefer visual learning, children with ADHD or kids in the Autism Spectrum, this behavioral gem is for you.
- EDUCATIONAL AND VERSATILE: Visual educational and behavioral magnetic schedule for kids. Your child will love this approach to learning, independence and behavioral expectations. The fun but clear pictures communicate on their level while keeping parents and child on the same page.
- 35 Widgit(T) symbols, 2 display boards (297 x 105mm) and VELCRO Brand hook and loop to attach the symbols to the boards. Simply display the boards on your wall one beneath the other, and attach the symbols in the order in which those activities will happen in your day. This communicates to the user what is going to happen therefore reducing anxiety and bringing calm.
- Symbol cards measure approximately 6 x 5cm and include: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, drink, toilet, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, bath, shower, school, tidy up, car, homework, swimming, baseball, basketball, shopping, walk, story, bedtime, playground, pajamas, Grandparents, play, friends, club, watch T.V., wash face, home, medication, milk, phone, & tablet.
- A great visual schedule for kids with autism, aspergers, adhd, down's syndrome and speech and language delay.
- Helps reduce stress and anxiety and brings calm by communicating to someone what is happening in their day.
- Run by a Mum and teacher, this routine chart is sold under licence from Widgit Symbols (C) Widgit Software 2002 -2020
- INCLUDES: SchKIDules Deluxe Box Set features 132 home, school and special needs themed activity magnets plus 21 headings magnets. This Deluxe set caters to kids who may have more on their schedule than others, have added special education or IEP needs and for kids who could also benefit from the use of behavioral prompts.
- EASY TO USE: Easy for parents, fun for kids! Design multiple visual schedule set ups. The deluxe set's heading sheet makes it possible to set up both daily and weekly calendars. You can create everything from daily to-do lists and routine teachers to weekly schedules and responsibility charts when your child’s ready.
- BEHAVIORAL GAME CHANGER: Behavioral benefits with visual reinforcement. Use these magnets to help kids understand and remember what's next and what's expected. Kids are visual learners. Toddlers with ADHD and some kids on the autism spectrum thrive on these visual supports.
- EDUCATIONAL AND FUN: Visual educational and behavioral magnetic schedule for kids. Your child will love this approach to learning, independence and behavioral expectations. The fun but clear picture communicate on their level and at the same time put parents and child on the same page.
- LONG LASTING: SchKIDules magnets are a robust 35 mil quality thickness (same as car magnets), 2" x 2" in size, precut for your convenience, and laminated with a dry erase friendly finish. Most importantly, they are MADE IN THE USA.
- Sturdiness: The cards are made out of 5mil hot laminated sheet on 110lb cardstock paper, making the cards durable and reusable over and over again. The laminated cards are commonly used by teachers, parents, caregivers, and therapist across homes, centers, and schools.
- Multipurpose: The cards have endless multipurpose usage such as labeling, identifying, sorting, and many more but its main goal is to serve as a visual support system to teach children a fast, self-initiating, functional communication skill. The cards begin with the exchange of simple icons and rapidly builds sentence structure e.g., "I want apple", "I see park", "I hear train" etc.
- Everything you need in a communication book: This bundle includes 1 sturdy binder, 157 color photo cards, 1 removable sentence strip (color may vary), 5 heavy duty divider tabs, 1 easy pamphlet to understand the six steps of the pcs system, and 6 extra cards to expand your children language and cognitive development, I see, I feel, I hear, I smell, I touch, It is.
- Systematized: Kit comes in its own storage box, compacted and organized in a binder with the 8 most commonly used categories, food 30pc, toys 31pc, school 15pc, places 15pc, home act. 15 pc, signs 15pc, emotions 15pc, and action 15pc. Assembled and ready to use.
- Book and cards specification: Binder features two interior storage pockets for loose materials, color black, and it measures 9x7.5 convenient to travel and put in your child's backpack or carry in hand. Binder comes with 5 different colorful 10 mil poly dividers, 3 hard strips (hook) attached on each side to hold 30 cards. Each card measures 1.5 x 1.5. inch mounted with 1/2-inch soft dot (loop), and round corner cut safe for little hands from scratching and poking.
Visual Schedules for Preschoolers
Please don’t let the word “preschool” cloud your opinion of this. If my child needs a “preschool” chart when he’s 25, so be it. I don’t care much for age labels.
- Editable Visual Schedule-from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Magnetic What’s Up Weekly Board-from So You Think You’re Crafty
- Visual Schedule-from Panda Speech Therapy
- Visual Schedule Preschool Cards-from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Visual Schedule-from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Multi-Purpose Visual Schedule-from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Toddler Morning Visual Schedule-from Teachers Pay Teachers
- Visual Schedule for Toddlers by Teaching Mama
I hope that these free printable visual schedules for home and daily routines are helpful to you and your kids.
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