Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Benefits of Schedules for Autistic Children

Any parent knows that getting their children on a good schedule is beneficial and helpful to the child. However, this is especially true for children with Autism. Having a schedule gives the child something he or she can rely on – without fail and this is a very big help in every way! By placing your Autistic child on a reliable schedule, he or she will be able to anticipate and count on their daily routines. Below, you will find more information on why schedules are beneficial for Autistic children.

Keeping Up with Appointments –

When your child is on a regular daily schedule, it will become easier for you to keep up with their doctor and other appointments. This helps keep you from missing appointments and eliminates the need to continuously reschedule those appointments. You can also inform your child of what will be happening throughout his or her day. This way, if they really want to do something, you can show them when they will have time to do it and what they must do before they’re able to do the fun things they want. This is a great parent’s helper and will keep you organized!

Informing Your Child –

One great thing to do when placing your child on a schedule is to get him or her involved. You may use words or pictures to help them understand the different things they will be doing throughout the day. Create a large daily calendar you can change and add words or pictures. For instance, you may have lunch at 12:00 and you can write ‘lunch’ or draw a picture of a place setting with food on the plate. This is a wonderful way to get your child accustomed to the routine and to help them understand the different things you will be doing throughout the day.

Avoiding Boredom –

As you go throughout your day with no planned schedule, it’s easy for your Autistic child to get bored and restless. With many children who have Autism, this can lead to disaster. When you have a schedule, you can avoid these problems by ensuring that there is always something to keep your child occupied and happy. Try splitting playtime up into smaller times throughout the day. This will help keep your child from getting bored and possibly reacting badly.

For instance, you might schedule 30 minutes of time for your child to create something artistically between lunch and something else. Then, schedule another 30 minutes for your child to enjoy his or her favorite toy before the bedtime routine starts. This will help eliminate boredom and keep your child happy.

Schedules can truly benefit any child; however they are especially wonderful for children with Autism. Try a schedule with your child today. Create one for tomorrow and explain to your child what you’re doing. It may help to get them excited about the schedule if you allow them to help create it! Good luck.

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