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 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 the 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 to 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 (I recommend the 9th one) 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.
If your printable routines are printed and laminated at home or the local office supply they will work just fine. 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
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.
January, 2019: Edited to fix links.
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