Zion has always thrived on structure and schedules. As a result, we’ve always incorporated some sort of schedule, BUT, it was not always a visual one. These days we have a visual schedule that he uses daily.
It has been noted that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder/ASD have greater difficulties coping with unstructured time than neurotypical people and benefit from increased structure in their lives. I have found that to be true in Zion’s case. Having a visual schedule in place at home enables Zion to be in control because he knows what to expect. In addition, it fosters independence and calm. On a side note, I forgot to place IPad time on the schedule and he was quick to point that out! I recently had to get a poster that would fit all of our activities. The one shown only displays some of what we do on a daily basis.
Social Stories and Back to School
I was first introduced to Social Stories by one of Zion’s teachers. A social story can be a written or visual guide describing various social interactions, behaviors, and situations. In Zion’s case, if he’s going to be introduced to a new situation, a social story is useful to help him anticipate and cope in that new situation. A great example is the simple and age specific one of the fire drill above. Fire drills can be overwhelming for Z because of his sensory issues so in addition to using headphones, having a visual and written social story reinforces what needs to be done and helps him to cope.
He starts Kindergarten this week and we are in the process of putting the finishing touches on a social story that tells his new classroom number and teacher. He actually already knows his classroom number as I’ve been verbally preparing him. I cannot express in words how proud I am of him! I always get so emotional when I talk about all the remarkable things he has done.
Zion seems to be quite popular on the blog lately. However, I wanted you to get a peek at the behind the scenes at our home. I would love to hear from you. Are schedules a part of your routine? Maybe not social stories for everyone...Do tell. Have a lovely Sunday my friends. xx