Childcare and a school environment is filled with an abundance of visual and auditory stimulation.
Overload of sensory stimuli can create a lack of focus and inability to process auditory information.
This overload of stimulation can make it difficult for a person who has limited language retain information.
Imagine not being able to understand what a person is saying, not being able to follow an instruction.
Without understanding why or how to transition can create anxiety and behaviours.
Lack of routine and structure can create confusion, anxiety and a overwhelming sense of panic can develop for a child with Autism, auditory processing difficulties, ESL, language and learning impairments.
Building structure and routine at Childcare
- Daily routine picture cards should have clear white background with limited distraction.
- Place a schedule board with pictures of the days routine on a wall or door.
- In the beginning you may like to only add two cards to the schedule, for example unpack bag – circle time.
- As the child learns the concept, you can increase the amount of pictures you add to the routine board
- Use keywords only for each activity.
- Once every activity is finished, support the child to place the picture on the finish line then point and use the keyword for the next activity.
Benefits of a Childcare picture routine
I always say the key to success is persistence and consistence, the child will develop an understanding of the process if it is done every time a transition is made from one activity to another.
Picture routines provide a concrete form of communicating and building routine and structure to the persons day.
By having a concrete understanding of what activity is being done now and what is coming next, allows the person to participate in what is going on around them.
A picture schedule will reduce anxiety, confusion and behaviours.
Another tool you can use is a Desk Routine board, for immediate communication place a Desk Routine on each activity desk in your Childcare Centre.
Shoot me an email if you need support or would like more information.
Till next time
Alison – Mother, Blogger, Founder See-n-Speak Communication Resources