Wednesday, April 4, 2018

ASD and Building Routines

The importance for building predictable routines for children with Autism is paramount for learning however it is important to ensure that the child doesn't become too obsessed with routines. I often hear of families having to drive the same route each day to ensure that the child with Autism doesn't get upset, or wearing the same clothes and eating the same food.
I believe that providing a structured learning environment helps the child to focus on what they are meant to be doing and to block out overstimulating environments. Routines also help to build expectations and  ease anxiety for children who cannot decode what is happening in their environment.
Now that my students are familiar with our class routine i am starting to make small changes to make our routine slightly different. This way they learn how to cope with change in a safe environment because life isn't always going to be predictable. I do this by taking a trip to the swings after morning tea instead of reading our big book, or timetabling a surprise on their individual timetables so they cannot anticipate what is going to happen.

Image result for surprise boardmakerIf you have a student who cannot cope with transitioning between tasks then start by
- building a predictable routine (use a visual timetable to help)
- once they are familiar; start making small changes to their day
- adding "surprise" on their timetable

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