Introduction to Using Visual Schedules with Autistic Students

What is a visual schedule?

A visual schedule is a plan that helps those students with limited abilities who cannot communicate, such as those children-through-adults limited speeches, sensory issues, and developmentally challenged as well as autism. They have trouble understanding and giving input to instructions. Persons with limited speech and autism often have difficulty following verbal directions and social cues.  A schedule helps a person to see a plan of action for the exercise session order of events, as well as remain calm, reduce inappropriate behaviors, develop independence, and increase self-esteem.  Even if the whole group does not need a schedule, working with a group of both special needs students and regular education students helps the whole group see a beginning and ending to an exercise session.  A visual schedule is also helpful for breaking down a task that has multiple steps to ensure the teaching and compliance of those steps.

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