Scheduling Expectations

Using visuals to help your child understand expectations

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When a child doesn't understand what they are supposed to be doing, ,it is helpful to give them something visual so they can see what they have to do. Children can't read minds. So it's important for you to show them your idea of a schedule. This schedule should answer these questions: 1) What am I supposed to be doing? 2) How do I know that I am making progress? 3) How do I know when I am done? 4) What will happen next?

Try This at Home

  • Make your child as much a part of the schedule creation as you are. Let them draw pictures or maybe take photos of your child doing they activity.
  • Following a schedule is a skill that children should learn for future use. Refer to this schedule often so that the child knows how to use it themselves later on.
  • Let your child remove the photo of the activity once it is completed. This will help them to recognize that it's time to move on to the next activity.
  • Choose something difficult for the child during the day (i.e. getting ready for school, bedtime, etc.) to begin. Let it become routine so you can make the schedule larger for the whole day.

Practice at School

Using these visuals help the child become more independent and encourage them to participate. At school, these visuals can be used to help determine routine, sequence of activities, and the steps to completing an activity. Visuals also help a child remember classroom rules without having to be reminded.

Why is This Important?

Visual schedules reduce stress and power struggles between you and your child. It gives your child a great self esteem and a sense of control. These schedules limit the number of "no's" and behavioral corrections that are given throughout the day because your child will know what to expect.