Why are visual schedules important for children on the spectrum? Here’s a quick answer to a more complex question.
Visual schedules are important for many reasons for children on the spectrum. Most children on the spectrum have difficulties with transition. In addition they learn visually. Therefore having pictures to show what the schedule of the day is allows the child to anticipate each activity and expect what comes next, which also provides comfort. Studies show that the brains of children on the spectrum function in a different manner, which affects the ability to deal with transitions. Therefore it is not the child simply being stubborn or difficult. A visual schedule could include as little as 2 pictures. For example the first picture could be a picture of a book to signify that the first activity of the day is reading a book together, then the second picture could be a picture of a ball to signify that the second activity (and perhaps the last activity of the day/session) is a turn taking activity with a ball. Once you’re done with each activity you put the picture away in a box or envelope for example to signify that you are done with that activity.