One of the BEST tools I have found when working with children that have sensory and/or behavioral issues is to provide them with a visual schedule.
I am blessed with the ability to draw so most of my sessions begin as follows:
- I sit down with the child and we decide together on 3-4 activities they want to cover during out session.
- I draw a visual for each of them in a box and write the name of the activity next to it.
- Every time we complete an activity I as the child to check their schedule and to check it off with a checkmark!
They absolutely LOOOOVE this!
It is very organizing for children (especially children on the Autism spectrum) and greatly facilitates transitions from one activity to the next. It allows children to know what is coming next (they can adjust their energy level knowing what’s in store for them) and it gives children the motivation to continue on a non preferred task knowing that something they enjoy is coming up!
Most of my children ASK me for a schedule as soon as they walk through the door!!
I realize that many people are not always good at drawing so using PECS cards from Speech Therapists is great!!!!
I like when tools that I use are visually appealing to children so I created this one with a DRY ERASE MAGNETIC BOARD!!!
What you Will Need:
- Magnetic Dry Erase board
- Pretty Ribbon
- Stick on Foam Letters for AM and PM
- 2 Metal Favor boxes with a magnet stuck in back of them
- Laminated PECS cards with Magnets stuck behind each card
You can personalize the boards with your child’s name or stickers of objects that they love (just don’t make it too busy…it can become visually distracting)
I used this dry erase magnetic board and stuck ribbon down the middle to split the board in half. I then stuck AM and PM foam stickers on ether side. I also printed out PECS card with activities for a daily routine, laminated the cards and stuck thing magnetic circles behind each card.
I found metal favor boxes (that one would use for wedding favors) and stuck a strong magnet in back of it with a hot glue gun. These boxes can store extra PECS cards or as your child completes an activity, he can place it in the metal box!
You will be amazed at how well this works with most children! I have gotten even the most behavioral children to follow routines beautifully with the help of a visual schedule!