Saturday, December 3, 2011

Visual Schedules

The coolest thing (okay, not the coolest thing, but a cool thing) about being the mother of a child with special needs is the community of support.  Some of our best friends are parents who we've met because they are walking a similar path to ours.  You should hear us "special needs moms" when we get together.  We greet, we hug, we sit down and start talking... as fast as we can... without taking breaths... so we can enjoy to the max all the things we've needed to talk about with other moms who speak our language... who know our struggles... who appreciate our triumphs with an "insiders" perspective.  It is so awesome.

Well... I was looking a while back for a visual schedule to put on the fridge.  Something for Charlie that will help him to grasp our daily routine.  He is a visual learner, as are many children who have Down Syndrome, and a visual schedule --like he has at school--helps with transitions in the day.  It helps him take charge of himself and his own responsibilities when he knows what is going on.  As part of Charlie's recent IEP (a post for another day) we included a goal to get Charlie going on following his visual schedule with less prompting from adults.  Helping him learn to take care of himself.

Magnets are just the right size, and very sturdy.

So anyway, I had been looking for a schedule for home, finding all the usual utilitarian icons, when I came across the cutest, neatest visual schedule ever.  The two sets available were not quite right for us, so I contacted the owner who was willing to make a custom order for us!  We talked it over and decided this would be a great investment for Charlie, and also having other little guys in the house who cannot read, but can read pictures.

The pictures on these are so lovely, yet easy to "read".

The owner is a mom of a child with special needs who created this product to fill a need, and founded Visual Schedules: Promoting Structure, Independence, and Self Esteem.  And the result is so beautiful.  And functional.  I am not a product promoting blogger, but I have to plug the invention and innovation of another special needs mom who just gets it.  And what she has created is so special.  You get to choose your child's gender, ethnicity, and place of worship, for a product that is unique, looks nice on your fridge, and is super functional for children who can benefit from having a visual schedule.

"Let's move that field trip up to 9am."  The schedule comes with clocks, too!

And how is it working for us?  Great!  It especially helps after school when Charlie get's home and is tired and hungry and eager to play and has a tendency to just come unraveled.  We go immediately to the fridge and see that "first it is potty time, then snack, then play."  Meltdowns are so much less frequent when Charlie has a firm grasp on what is going on.  The picture schedule is right there for him to reference when he forgets.  No guessing.  Nothing lost in translation.

The big reveal...  He like it! 

Calvin loves the schedule, too.  We set out his schedule in the mornings, which in our custom order includes magnets for our homeschool subjects, so even though homeschool is a very loose term at this point in our house, we throw those up there and make sure we do some fun, educational projects together to accomplish that.  On Charlie's homeschool days (guess I have a bit of updating to do), I find the schedule particularly useful to help him know the flow of the day, what is going on, and what we are doing and when.

"Time for snack, Mom!"

So, a little plug for another mom making a difference.  Thanks for working with us, Joann.  We appreciate it so much.  And we are totally enjoying our schedule--and keeping on track when Miles isn't "rescheduling" us.  ;)

1 comment:

Susana said...

This looks like a good site to bookmark for the future! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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