What is a picture Schedule? A picture schedule is a visual representation of what the student will encounter through the day or within a specific task.
Who can benefit from a picture schedule? Students with autism benefit from picture schedules. Additionally students who feel anxious during transitions during the day could benefit from visual schedules.
Where can you put the visual schedule? A whole group schedule can be posted on the board and individual schedules can go on a student’s desk, cubby or other “check-in” area in the classroom. Schedules can also be portable (on a binder or clipboard) and taken when a student transitions to PE, recess, lunch etc.
How to teach: Before the activity cue the student to “check your schedule.” Fade physical, and verbal prompts as soon as you can so checking the schedule becomes an independent activity. Timers Why I love My Time Timer for Visual Support can be used to promote independence with checking schedules. After the activity is complete prompt the student again to “check your schedule” Sequentially and routinely check the schedule through the day and remove the schedule cards as activities are completed. An “all-done” box, envelope or folder can provide a place to store the images.
-Provide praise and reinforcement for students as they learn how to use picture schedules. Provide ongoing training and support for parents who may want to implement picture schedules at home.
Where to find pictures:
Take your own pictures, google images, symbolistix and boardmaker (see links below), teachers pay teachers.
Here are two resources for visuals many special educators and specialist use in the field: Your district may already have the license for these software programs.