I caught your attention with that title, didn’t I. I know what you are thinking. No visual schedule? The outrage! The horror! Now put down protesting signs and give me a minute to explain. I am a lover of all things visual schedule. Many students need a visual schedule. Heck, often time I could use a visual schedule. What I want to propose today would be to push our student beyond the visual schedule. Don’t get rid of the schedule, just make the schedule a little different.
Once our students are successfully and independent whipping through that visual schedule on a daily basis, I want you give yourself one quick pat on the back (and your kiddo) and jump right back on that pony. Your job isn’t over. I’m probably starting to sound annoying with all of this “you job isn’t done yet, keep pushing your kids” talk and I get it. Once you have one pristine moment of calm, the thought of even slightly rocking on the boat seems just downright dumb. But here I am, suggesting the stupid move that I promise you will pay off in the long term. Push and challenge your students and get them even more independent!
The Schedule Continuum
Just like prompting, there is a hierarchy of schedules. Schedules can range from most restrictive to least restrictive. Our goal is to get our kids as far to the least restrictive side as we can!
So take a moment to identify where your kids are all located as far as their schedule abilities. Now think about your students that have been using the same type of schedule for years. Those may be your students who are ready for a change and ready for a new schedule.
Schedules are important because they let our students know what will be happening and when. I personally would have a minor panic attack without a schedule so I get how important schedules are. I am in no way advocating taking away the schedule – rather consider how the schedule is presented. Some of our learners may be ready for more “mature” schedule options. These more mature schedule options will allow greater ease for inclusion, more functional, easier to replicate in other settings, and side bonus – easier for you to setup!
We can make each student’s schedule “easier” or “harder” based on their needs. When I say easier, I mean more concrete and readily understandable. And when I say harder, I mean more abstract and more based around text.
What are some changes you can make today?
… for students who are ready…