Visual schedules are a sequence of images (can include simple text) that help us to stay organized. They can be especially helpful for people who have difficulty processing verbally delivered information. (These visuals are also great for English Language Learners!)
Why use a visual schedule?
- It improves listening and focus.
- It helps with comprehension and response for people with learning disabilities, who are visual learners.
- It's an aid for processing sequenced information.
- Motivation! "I can see what we are going to do, which makes me feel more comfortable!"
- It helps to alleviate anxiety over the "unknown" for those who are uncomfortable with changes in routine.
- It helps visual learners follow instructions and routines.
Here are a few resources to help you create visual schedules:
- Boardmaker (symbol-based learning software)
- Subscription to Boardmaker Online https://www.boardmakeronline.com/
- Google images
I create visual schedules for my sensory story times, using the Boardmaker software, laminating the images, and attaching magnetic strip to the back. My visual schedules are displayed on a magnetic board during my program. We go over all of the images at the beginning of the program, so we know what we are going to be doing. Before we do the activity, I point to the corresponding image and then remove the image when we are "all done." You can also add an "all done" pocket to place the completed activities in.
Visual schedules are a wonderful assistive tool to add to your inclusion toolbox.