Thursday, October 4, 2012

Condensed Weekly Schedule

I talk & post a lot about visual aids. They help our family in so many ways. However, I remember hearing at one of our conferences (sorry I can't remember which one) that visual aids are a supreme resource for kiddos on the Autism Spectrum, but our goal is to eventually have them be able to cope without it. Now, I know of some people, myself included, who would be LOST without certain visual aids. My watch, my calendar, my weather app on my phone, and my many lists. Without these few visual aids, my days would be more frazzled than they already are!!!! So, Ethan needing visual aids to reduce his anxiety.....I totally get that.

But since I post about his visual aids often, I also wanted to point out that we don't still use many of them. Once Ethan has understood the concept or schedule or whatever we are trying to teach him, we notice that he will do a couple of things. First, he will use the visual aid more as a "that's what I'm supposed to do" or "I'm having fun with this game" instead of using it to actually learn. We can tell he is doing this because he isn't really looking at the visual aid but instead is "going through the motions" without even really looking at the tool. Second, he will begin to use the aid in this same way but more randomly. Some days he will look at it, other days he won't. Eventually, we realize it has been weeks since he has needed the resource to calm his anxiety.

For instance, at the beginning of the school year, we had these visual aids to help Ethan understand what his school schedule was to be like...for more on these visual aids, you can find the original post here.

However, now these things have disappeared. I have been able to condense it all to one page.

He has also started looking at my write on/ wipe off calendar that I keep on our refrigerator. And just before bed each night, Ethan will ask me what we are doing tomorrow. I try to keep it less than 5 words....for instance, on Wednesday will will do "Easter Seals, School, Home, Church." I could easily add images onto our visual organizer if I need to but because Ethan is so word/text driven, pictures seem to be unnecessary for him.

Here are a few other links to visual aids that we have used in the past....that we no longer use.

However, the challenge is that, even though Ethan has outgrown many of his past visual aids, the need for new ones will soon come again. And that is always the challenge with parenting all children....staying one step ahead of them!

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