Creating a daily schedule for a child with autism can be a helpful tool for promoting routine and structure in their daily life. A consistent schedule can also reduce stress and increase independence for the child. Here are four ways to create a daily schedule for your child with autism that can be used with ABA therapy.
Visual Schedule: Using a visual schedule, such as picture cards or a whiteboard, can be a great way to help a child with autism understand what activities they will be doing throughout the day. This type of schedule can also help reduce anxiety, as the child knows exactly what to expect.
First-Then Boards: A “first-then” board is a visual schedule that shows the child what they need to do first and what they will get to do after. For example, “first, do your homework, then play video games.” This type of schedule is especially useful for children who struggle with transitions.
Social Stories: Social stories are short, simple stories that describe a situation or activity. They can help a child with autism understand what is expected of them in different situations and can also help reduce anxiety. Social stories are a great tool to use at home or in the classroom as ABA therapy.
Routine Chart: A routine chart is a written list of the activities a child will do throughout the day. This type of schedule can be helpful for children who are able to read and understand written instructions. It can also be a useful tool for parents who need to keep track of their child’s daily activities.
Regardless of which type of schedule you choose, it is important to be consistent and stick to the schedule as closely as possible. It may take time for the child to fully understand and adjust to the schedule, so be patient and offer positive reinforcement when they follow it successfully.
Having a daily schedule can be a valuable tool for children with autism and their families. It can help promote routine, reduce stress, and increase independence. By using visual schedules, first-then boards, social stories, or routine charts, you can create a schedule that works best for your child.