Autistic Kids Love Schedules (So why do I suck at them?)
So it’s a proven fact. Most kids on the spectrum thrive on schedules. Brady sure does. If he knows what he’s supposed to be doing, and when, his days are so much better for all of us.
So why do I suck at this?
I started off with good intentions. Bought some super cute laminated images off etsy (I’d link you but she’s since closed up shop). I had a schedule for home, one for school and one for therapy. I was freaking rocking this PECS stuff.
Then, like most things I do, I started to get bored with it. I got lazy. Did Brady REALLY care if I showed him a picture of the bathtub before putting him in it? What if we were busy and had to make an unexpected stop at Target? Will his whole world collapse? Shouldn’t I be teaching him how to deal with life when it doesn’t go as expected?
Eventually we only used the schedule in therapy and school. Once school ended for the year, it was just in therapy.
That’s when I noticed he was crankier than usual. Would resist more and object a lot more. So I did what I do best. Found an excuse to go to Target and Office Depot and bought all new supplies for a new BETTER schedule. HA!
Here is the Before… (you’ll see why I say before, well, later).
Wait. Take a minute and check out how freakin amazing this thing is!
I took a month calendar, turned it into a weekly one and had spots for all his various activities throughout the day. I ROCK this whole Autism Mom gig. (I ran out of bathroom stickers, we do, in fact, hope he goes potty on Sundays and Wednesdays, despite this calendar).
Now, check it out again. Yeah, that’s the last time it looked like that. All organized, pristine, AMAZING.
Now… Here is what it looks like today (phone pictures, so sorry they are fuzzy)
Those black squares? They are the magnets that don’t really stick to the laminated stickers all that well. Brady likes to peel them off and throw them at me. Either in disgust for me not following his schedule, or because it’s fun to throw things at mommy when she’s on conference calls. Both really.
I fell off the wagon again. I can’t find these same images anywhere to print new squares and need to get magnets with much stronger glue on the back. And, I have to actually USE the schedule for more than a decoration in my office.
Google to the rescue. Although don’t just google image search “pecs”, or do (you’re welcome ladies).
pecs4autism.com/ is a great resource for buying premade scedules, cards, images, etc. Now if only they sold a book on how to stick with the schedule. THAT is what I need.
So, you amazing moms of autistic or speech apraxic kiddos. What tools have helped you? Do you use pecs? Did you try it and fail miserably like me? Want to start a support group? (People Who Fail at PECS and Wonder Why. We meet the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Bring cookies, or plan to and then forget to do that too.)
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