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
- EASY & INSTANT: Right out of the box you can try so many visual schedule set ups with your child to test which one achieves your behavioral goals
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- READY-MADE: Enjoy the easy setup of an instant visual schedule or kids calendar on any magnetic surface using the included 72 Home-themed magnets and 21 headings
- CUSTOMIZE YOUR LOOK AND PURPOSE: 21 Headings allow you to set up everything from To Do Lists, to Routine Teachers to Weekly Schedules and easily change it from day to day
- PLAYS TO YOUR CHILD'S STRENGTHS: Kids are very visual and receptive communication is stronger when they can see what your telling them - leading to better cooperation and task execution
- 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.
- LONG LASTING: SchKIDules magnets are a robust 30 mil quality thickness, 2" x 2" in size, laminated with a dry erase friendly finish, CPSIA tested/certified. MADE IN THE USA!
- 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.
- 🧩Includes 50 colorful Picture Cards with 3 Charts (Morning, Afternoon, and Evening).
- 🧩Each picture measures 1.5 x 1.5 printed on White 110 lb Card Stock. 🧩Each board measures approximately 10.7" tall and 3.75" wide.
- 🧩Each picture is heat laminated to protect the picture and make more sturdy.
- 🧩Each picture corner has been rounded to prevent the child from "poking" themselves or others. Everything comes assembled and ready to use!
- 🥅The goal of communication photos cards is to teach children in the spectrum a fast, self-initiating and functional communication skill. The system begins with the exchange of simple icons but rapidly builds sentence structure. Example "I want apple", "I see park", "I hear train" etc. ❤️ Handmade in the USA! ❤️
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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