Friday, April 6, 2018

Using Visual Schedules: A Guide

The advantages to using a visual schedule with individuals with ASD include (Mesibov et al., 2005): 
  • It 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; 
  • It can increase the individual’s flexibility; 
  • It helps the individual remain calm and reduces inappropriate behaviors; and 
  • It helps the individual to develop independence and resulting self-esteem.

Steps for Setting Up a Visual Schedule 

1. Decide on the format of the schedule.
All types can be used with all ages and all types of ASD. The schedule types to consider are: 
A. Object Schedules: These are most appropriate for individuals who have few language skills and are mostly non-verbal. The simplest way to use an object schedule is for the parent to hand an object to their son or daughter just before they are about to move to the next activity. The individual then takes the object and uses it in the activity. The main thing to think about with an object schedule is making a list of which objects you are going to use to represent each activity.