Today is Day 8 in 31 days to Loving Sensory Parenting. You can read all the posts so far by going here.
Yesterday we talked about the importance of routine. Today I’m going to share with you a few of the tools that we use to help us get from point A to point B. If you’ve been on this journey for a bit you probably know and have heard of visual schedules. But if you are new, visual schedules are a concept to help kids organize the things they need to do instead of just verbally telling them. Sometimes, atypical kids respond better to images they are able to take it in and processes it easier.
We’ve used a few different types in our house. Everything from the most common form PECS on magnets on our fridge. Those didn’t work very well for us. She would hide them, rip them and bite them if it was something she didn’t want to do.
A visual calendar has worked really well in our house. Miss Sensory loves to know what is coming up next and what happens when. So when she asks me a million times what day is her fall festival at school and I can tell her to go to the calendar and look for the fall leaf. I use Word and copy and paste clip art into the calendar.
Sometimes, what has worked best for us is even just me sitting down with her and drawing simple pictures and a word. She has an innate ability to remember what is what and she can see what’s coming up and she loves to be a part of making her schedule. Often she likes to even color it in after I draw something like this:
More recently I made her a morning checklist so she could “check” off each completed task and then she could show me everything she completed and I could ask her what was left.
The best thing that has worked for us is mapping. Miss Sensory is a big fan of pirates and adventures so we “map” out tasks or things we need to do or what the schedule is. You can get a copy of our map by subscribing to our e-mail list. You could either print off clipart from google and glue it to the map or draw simple pictures. If you have a child that’s reading you could write the tasks in. Start at the green star and end at the red star. Making a game out of tasks helps take the focus off of these are things you have to do and they become a fun adventure.