Visual schedules are an environmental support that accommodates the need for predictability and decreases anxiety about the unknown. Visual schedules take an abstract concept (i.e., time) and present it in a more concrete and manageable form using words and/or pictures. They serve two major purposes: (a) to provide motivation by making clear when preferred activities, tasks, or classes will occur and allow anticipation of upcoming events and activities; and (b) to facilitate an understanding of time and the ability to predict change (Myles, 2005).
How To Use
There are no specific steps involved in providing environmental supports to children with AU. Nevertheless, generally, when providing environmental supports, first evaluate the child’s strengths, interests, goals, and learning style and identify challenges that need to be addressed. Based on the child’s specific characteristics, the appropriate environmental support can then be identified.
Visual schedules can be created to present a range of information, such as a daily schedule, a schedule of activities to be completed in a class period, and so on. The information listed in each schedule should vary according to the individual’s age and level of functioning. They may be presented through written words, objects, photographs, line drawings, symbols or a combination of these options. Visual schedules can be displayed in different settings and made of different sizes according to their purposes.
The decision on (a) what and how the information will be presented on the visual schedule and (b) where the visual schedule will be displayed should be based on the specific individual’s characteristics and preferences. In addition, it is important to ensure that the individual understands the information presented on his visual schedule.
When To Use
Visual schedules can be used at home, school and in the community. Visual schedules can be used ANY time!
SummaryVisual schedules are an environmental support that accommodates the need for predictability and decreases anxiety about the unknown. Visual schedules take an abstract concept (i.e., time) and present it in a more concrete and manageable form using words and/or pictures.
Target: Texas Autism Resource Guide for Effective Teaching
TSLAT. (n.d.). Retrieved August 29, 2016, from http://txautism.net/interventions