Why use pictorial schedules for someone who is non-verbal

Daily and Weekly Pictorial Schedules and Timetables are a visual learning tool for people with Autism and communication impairments to use to develop routine and structure to their world.

Can you imagine not knowing what is happening now, what is coming next? Where you are going, who you are visiting, who is visiting you, what you are expected to do, behave and act.

It must be a scary world for someone who is non-verbal or has limited language and has difficulty processing what people are saying or expecting of you.

Some people with Autism, language and learning developmental disorders have to deal with the “unknown” in every aspect of their day.

Understandably, the “unknown” leads to anxiety which leads to behaviours, ie meltdowns.

Ways a pictorial schedule/timetable can help

  • Pictures are a clear and concise explanation of what is happening now and what is coming next, an essential guide to transitioning for someone who has a language disorder.
  • Help people with language comprehension difficulties understand what people are saying and doing.
  • Help people cope with change.
  • Timetables and schedules give people direction and structure.
  • Reduce frustration
  • Timetables can warn people of change
  • Picture Schedules can help people prepare for upcoming days activities.
  • Developing structure and routine can reduce a person anxiety, behaviours and build independence.

Daily and Weekly Pictorial Schedules and Routines

  • Daily Routine– a sequence of pictures that explains daily routines at home or at school. An example of a daily routine at home might be a morning routine.  A sequence of pictures that outlines each step that is required for getting ready of a morning.

Pictorial visual schedule and timetables


  • Weekly Schedule – a pictorial visual schedule that shows each day of the week and what they are doing on any given day.  People can prepare themselves for what they are doing that day and for upcoming days in the week.

Weekly pictorial schedule, routine visual, autism, disability

Whilst using visual schedules might seem like a lot of work, the difference they can make is monumental to a person that is struggling to understand the world to which they live.

Click here for more benefits of using visual pictorial schedules and timetables.

Till next time


Mother, Blogger, Founder See-n-Speak www.seeandspeak.com.au

Alison Mooney

I am a mother first, Blogger and Founder of See-n-Speak Communication Picture Exchange resources for people with a Disability. Sharing our resources and knowledge successfully using picture exchange as a form of communication with our child.

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