Many kids with Sensory Processing Disorder have difficulty with their organizational skills, as well as struggle with transitions… as you probably have experienced in your own family lives.
My son Drew is pretty textbook when it comes to this and we have found Visual Schedules to be a Godsend for him. There were times when he would whine and cry and fight every step I wanted him to take. Once we started the schedule he would look, see what was to come and walk through each step. It was miraculous! When we don’t do the schedule for a while, we definitely feel it in the house. We are right back to a lot of whining, complaining and meltdowns. (They don’t go away completely, of course, but are reduced drastically.)
I couldn’t just sit on this awesome tool and not share it with anyone who might not have heard about it!
They are pretty easy to make. It just takes some time, but is SO worth it! Trust me! And you only have to do it once!
- PECS cards (the pictures) – google PECS cards, find the ones you like and print them out on cardstock. (there are places to where you pay, but I found all of mine for free)
- Laminate sheets (craft stores, Target, etc.)
- Velcro (craft stores)
- Manila folders
- Print the PECS cards you want on the cardstock paper. If you want a visual schedule for the back-to-school morning (highly recommended), print out those corresponding pictures. What is so awesome about this is it is tailored to your child. If your child usually fights about breakfast, print out pictures of specific foods so there is no confusion of what he/she will be eating. If your child doesn’t care about that, just print out a general “breakfast” pictures. Focus in on where your child struggles.
- Cut out the PECS cards with your handy scissors.
- Laminate each PECS card and cut them out. Pro Tip: Leave about 1/8-1/4 inch of laminate around each square – don’t cut too close! (I made that mistake the first time. Oops!)
- Time for your manila folder. Put two strips of the fussy side of the velcro along the front of the folder. (See Picture)
- Cut small squares of the hard side of the velcro and attach them to your laminated PECS cards.
- Arrange your cards and create your schedule!
Extra bonus: The nice thing about this method is you can put the PECS cards you’re not using on this particular day inside the folder. It is handy and keeps them from getting lost!
If you try it out, let me know how it goes for your family! Or have you tried a visual schedule already? How has it worked for you?