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February 2016 News & Events

Using Visual Schedules to Assist with Transitions

We often take for granted our ability to successfully transition from one activity, task or location to another throughout the day. However, transitions can pose significant challenges for individuals with autism, who tend to rely on predictability and repetition. Transitions may provoke anxiety, decreased independence and challenging behaviors. While there are many effective strategies for assisting individuals with transitions, one in particular involves the use of visual schedules. A visual schedule is a tool used to organize a sequence of events. It is especially important for individuals who have difficulty understanding, processing and remembering verbal language and directions. Whether in macro or micro format, visual schedules help identify:
  1. what is happening today (regular activities and deviations in routine)
  2. what is the sequence of events
  3. when is it time to stop one activity and move to the next
The consistent and effective use of visual schedules (like many visual supports) promotes decreased anxiety, enhanced structure, improved understanding and cooperation, increased participation and independence, and less need for repetitive verbal prompting.

Does My Child Need a Visual Schedule?

Does your child...
  • have a hard time transitioning between activities?
  • have a hard time learning sequences?
  • have difficulty understanding expectations?
  • have difficulty with new environments?
  • have a hard time with changes in routine?
  • show challenging behavior during transitions?  
...if you answered yes to any of these questions, your child would likely benefit from visual schedules.

How do I Create a Visual Schedule?

  1. Getting Started: Identify the Routine
  2. Step 1: Determine what type of schedule your child will respond to best
  3. Step 2: Break down the difficult routine into smaller steps
  4. Step 3: Represent each step visually

How do I Implement a Visual Schedule?

Sample Visual Schedules

Different Types of Schedules: Schedules that support Activities of Daily Living (ADLs):

Technology for Creating Visual Schedules

Archived Webinar

Please click here to view Monarch's archived webinar entitled "Creating, Customizing and Using Visual Schedules with Children on the Autism Spectrum." It originally aired in March 2014.

Upcoming Webinars

March 17, 3-4pm EST
Webinar (online only)
Art & Music Therapy: The Value of Co-Treating Students with Autism
Details & Registration

April 14, 11am-12pm EST
Webinar (online only)
Integrating Autism & Mental Health Interventions with Behavioral Strategies
Details & Registration

April 28, 11am-12pm EST
Webinar (online only)
Using an Interdisciplinary Approach to Managing Challenging Behaviors Exhibited by Individuals with Autism
Details & Registration Coming Soon

May 18, 11am-12pm EST
Webinar (online only)
Autism in the Community: A Desensitization Approach
Details & Registration

** Please click here to view archived copies of Monarch's previous webinars. **


Monarch Video 

When your child attends Monarch School or lives in our therapeutic residential treatment cottages, they are part of the Monarch family - and we become part of yours. Take a few moments to view this video and hear from parents and staff about the Monarch difference and why our programs are so special.
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