How to Keep a Schedule for Kids With Autism

How to Keep a Schedule for Kids With Autism

Children thrive on routine, and they learn best from repetition. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) especially appreciate predictability and patterns. Establishing routines at home can promote positive bonds between children and caregivers and ease the unpredictability of everyday life for young children.

Establishing routines can also help reduce stress, teach life skills and encourage independence. Here are some tips on how to create and carry out a routine.

Identify each step of a task you’d like your child to complete, and list the steps.

Example: The task is to get ready for bed. The steps to get ready for bed may include:

  1. Put on pajamas.
  2. Brush teeth.
  3. Wash face.
  4. Read a bedtime story.
  5. Turn off the light.

Finding the best routine for your child could take some time, so be patient and keep communicating to determine what works best. 

Create a visually-appealing schedule

Use visual aids to organize the steps into a schedule. A visual schedule can help children with autism understand what’s coming next, which can help facilitate smoother transitions. Take a look at this for an example. To help with transitions between tasks, you could utilize fun sounding timers. Alarms can help guide children through the schedule and give them a noticeable queue to follow. Take a look at this fun timer or even this YouTube video of fun sounds

Be consistent and flexible 

Consistency is key. Stick to the schedule and try to follow it the same way every day. Remember that it will take time for your child to learn the routine, so don’t give up. 

While maintaining the routine is essential, you should allow for some flexibility. Always use positive reinforcement and go slow to make any changes as easy as possible. 

At PRISM Learning Center, we work one-on-one with kids with autism to increase their opportunities for true independent living. We teach them valuable life skills so that they can utilize their needs more competently. Our goal is to help kids thrive and feel confident in their abilities.