Picture schedules to help process change to routine

Some people with a disability, in particular people with autism spectrum disorders, who have limited or no language, rely on a picture to process what is going on around them.

Some people with a disability, find it difficult to process what day of the week it is and what they are doing, on any given day.

This can create anxiety, sometimes relating in behaviours and melt-downs.

Pictures can support communication for children, adults and people with dementia.

A picture routine is a good way of explaining what a person is doing that day and if there is a change to the persons routine.

Pictures allows a person to process the change. This is particularly important in the school holidays, when school and other services shut down for a period of time.

This can be an extremely challenging time for people with a disability, their families and people supporting them.

People living in group homes, with support staff can get easily confused about their daily activities or who is supporting them. Each person would benefit from their own picture routine.

By attaching a weekly picture schedule to the persons door, will allow the person to process what they are doing that day and for the rest of the week.

Here are some tips on how to use a weekly picture schedule:

  • Attach the weekly schedule/planner to the wall or door.
  • Velcro is used to attach the picture to the weekly calendar
  • Support the person to place a picture on the schedule of what they are doing that day.  For example, the person might do craft on a Tuesday, place a picture of a craft activity on Tuesday.Weekly picture schedule ndis disability supports
  • Use a TODAY card,  so the person knows what day it is.
  • You can add more that one picture to the routine. For example Grocery shopping then coffee.
  • When the activity is finished, talk with the person about what they did that day,using the picture to prompt their episodic memory.
  • At the end of the day, support the person to place the picture on the finish line and attach the picture of what they are doing on the next day.

Picture Communication aids NDIS Assistive technology

Benefits of having pictures to show a daily or weekly routine.

  • A concrete form of communicating, what the person is doing on that day or if there is a change to their routine.
  • Learning the days of the week.
  • Building receptive language, learning the names of different places.
  • Prompting expressive language. By using the picture to encourage the person to attempt to say where they are going.
  • Builds structure and routine, reducing anxiety and behaviours.
  • Pictures prompt people to try different things.
  • Pictures can help the person understand a change to routine.
  • A weekly picture schedule can be personalised to suit the individual.
  • Prompts interaction by supporting the person to change their own calendar.

Visual  supports are a low-cost product that can be purchased through a persons NDIS, Assistive Technology and Consumables funding. Visual aids can make the world of difference to someone that has difficulty processing oral communication. Email us for a quote to submit to get funding through a participants NDIS plan.

See-n-Speak can tailor Weekly Calendar packages to suit the persons activities and routine.

Check out our related blog posts on support on using visual supports as a form of communication for people with a disability.

Any questions, email me.

Happy holidays

Till next time

Alison – Mother, blogger, Founder See-n-Speak Visual Communication aids. www.seeandspeak.com.au

See-n-Speak is a Registered NDIS Service Provider of Assistive Technology and Consumables. 

“Sharing what I have learnt to help others to use pictures as a form of communication”.

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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