Would you be lost without your Smartphone?
How many of you would go back home if you realized that you had forgotten your phone?
Why is this?
It keeps us organized, informed and connected to our world. That is very similar to what the schedule is for children with language difficulties. It is helpful for them to know how much work they need to do and what it is.
The other thing that you could consider the schedule as is a “To do list”. Think about your “ to do list” Do you add to your “to do” list or do you take off?
Set the schedule up so that it has all the things that the student will be doing.
In the clinic, I think it is most helpful to have it on the door of the clinic room. In other places, you want to have it so that it is always in the same place so that the child can refer to it. Think about if you were looking for the clock to tell you how much was left of class and they kept moving the clock to different places. You would get frustrated and probably spend more time trying to locate the clock as opposed to the task at hand.
You can set the schedule up in several ways. It can be a vertical schedule with an envelope that indicates that things are all done. The child takes off the activities as they are done.
SCERTS (Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Supports) suggests another way. They have the schedule board divided into green and red. The steps to be undertaken are in green and when the step is finished the child moves it to the red side.
Horizontal Schedule: This schedule should be made so that you read from left to right.
This is a video of a schedule and why they are important from OCALI. It also shows a great video of an object schedule. One thing that can get a child to their schedule is the use of their name. Look at the video and see how the child put his name on his schedule and then took the next activity off. Then you get the name off the schedule so that you can give it back to him at the end of the activity to lead him again back to the schedule.
Here is another resource that is written for parents with examples of other types of schedules.
The below resource is from National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders and gives more information on visual schedules.