I saw this a few days ago in an inclusive classroom, and I thought I should share.
Dear teachers in Nigeria,
A visual schedule like this is a good way to manage the behaviour of a child with autism in your classroom. It shows the sequence of events in the classroom, helping a child to be organized and to know what to expect in his/her day.
A visual schedule has many benefits for children on the autism spectrum. Let me share a few here:
1. It helps for easy transition from one activity to another in the class.
2. It reduces anxiety, as the child knows what to expect.
3. It reduces the need for adult prompts, thereby helping the child to be more independent.
4. It helps with literacy development, as the child gets used to the words, especially if it comes with pictures as well
5. It helps to teach sequence, and the child can reference what he/she did during the day.
6. Children can learn to plan and follow instructions. This will help them in completing tasks, preparing for the work place as adults, and in doing activities for daily living.
7. It benefits the neurotypical children in your class too.
Another benefit is that a child can also learn to be responsible. You can make it a fun experience for a child, if you give the child or all the children an opportunity to arrange the visual schedule.
I must say here that it is important to put in perspective the needs and the ability of the child with autism in your class. For more functional children, your visual schedule may have words only, while another teacher may need to have pictures on the visual schedule.
For some children, it will be good to arrange just a few activities at a time. For example, for a younger child, you may just put up two activities at the same time, saying “Now” and “Next” or “First” and “Then”. You can have three activities, and add to it as the day progresses.
|You can post your own picture on it (photo credit: Pintrest)|
A visual schedule is a step in the right direction for an inclusive classroom, as it shows that you are putting things in place to accommodate the needs of a child with autism that can be in your class.
I hope you consider putting one in your class today.
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