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Making Mornings Easier for you and Your Child with Autism

Do you sometimes struggle to get out the door on time with your child? As a parent, you may find mornings challenging sometimes. Read on for some tips that you may find helpful so everyone is out the door and where they need to be on time.


Plan as much as you can the night before. Have your child work with you to figure out what they will be wearing the following day. Work together and pack a lunch so you can just grab it and go in the morning from the refrigerator. Allow your child to decide what they would like to eat for breakfast the night before. Using visuals can also help when it comes to preplanning. Use social stories to prepare them for the following day.


If you find that mornings are tricky and you don’t have a routine down just yet, start practicing your morning routine the day or night before. You can also use a social story that details the exact steps you will be doing the next morning and practice them before bedtime. The more you practice, the more it will become routine for your child.

Set Timers

When it’s “go time” in the morning, using tools such as a timer can help speed the process along. For example, you can set a timer for 2 minutes for brushing teeth. Include visuals along with the timer, so your child will know what comes next. Using a token board can help show your child what is next in their routine, which can help the process.

Positively Reinforce

Using a token board with a picture of a reinforcer at the end of their routine to reward them for getting ready on time can help you, and your child get out the door on time. Be sure to positively reinforce them immediately when they complete all the steps. Since you will most likely be getting into the car or sending your child off on the bus, consider having the reinforcer be something they can do in the car or take with them.

Some examples:

  • choosing the music they want to listen to in the car on the way to school

  • a small treat they can eat on the bus

  • a new book on tape to listen to in the car

By practicing your morning routine often and using positive reinforcement, you and your child can walk out the door on time and start the day with less stress. So try it out and let us know how it goes!

Are you looking for ABA services in the Dallas, TX area? Reach out to LEAP Autism Therapy for a consultation. We are currently accepting new clients with no waitlist.


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