Visuals, visuals, visuals! I cannot say enough about how much I love visual supports and utilizing them with my kiddos during sessions. Others in the field or similar fields can probably attest to the fact that you really can’t go a day without them! One of my favorite visual supports to create and use is a visual schedule. A visual schedule can be words, pictures, or symbols or a combination of all. It is simply a tool to help visualize what has to be done and what comes next. Oh and the best part is that you can customize and make it unique to the kiddo! I like to use visual schedules to lay out the activities for my sessions. The more and more I do this, the more I realize how much can be incorporated into them. For example:
- The Premack Principle: it’s as easy as making the LAST activity the REWARD, therefore “First complete the schedule, Then ________”
- Behavioral Momentum: build up to harder/less likely to be performed tasks or activities by scheduling easier/more likely to be performed tasks or activities first
- Fostering Independence: allow for the individual to create their own schedule if they are able to [TIP: use color coding like I did below to help]
– Cooper, J. H., Heron, T.E., & Heward, W.L. (2007). Applied behavior analysis: Second edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
Below is an example of an activity schedule I would use for a younger client. Upon arrival of my session, I would go through the “colors,” give two or three options for each, and have the kiddo choose to create his or her own schedule. This way the client still feels involved!
Below is an example of an activity schedule I would use for an older client. Upon arrival of my session, I would have the client create his or her own schedule and assist with least to most prompting if needed. This can truly help the client feel motivated!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Also, do you have any secret activity schedule tricks? I’d love to hear!
Thanks for reading! ~E~