I have a 5 yr old son who has been diagnosed with aspergers and i need help on making a daily schedule or routine that will help us both. i am at a loss. can anyone help me, please. i would love examples of schedules.
A daily schedule benefits Aspergers (high functioning autistic) children by providing the structured environment that is critical to their sense of security and mastery. If you spend any time in a kindergarten or elementary school, you will marvel at the teacher's ability to organize the kid's day.
When you understand the nature of attachment in older Aspergers kids, you realize that shared communication and goals replace the attachment patterns of very young Aspergers kids. The daily schedule communicates the family's shared goals and allows kids to contribute to their accomplishment. Each time he follows the schedule, the child has a small, but cumulative, experience of mastery of his environment.
Follow these simple steps to create a daily schedule for your family:
Step 1 - Analyze Your Day—
Do a simple, but consistent time study. The easiest way to do this is to print a daily calendar. Note what each family member is doing at each time of the day. Look for the problem times, and think about how the schedule can be structured to eliminate problems related to behavior, stress, fatigue, hunger, and disorganization.
Step 2 - Brainstorm What You Want—
Less confusion in the morning, homework done by dinner, kids in bed by a certain hour, family play time, relaxation, a clean house - this is the time to think about what you want in your family life. Focus on a balance of activity and rest for your family. Take an honest look at both moms and dads' and kid's needs.
Step 3 - Write It Down—
Get a poster board and a marker, and write it down for all to see. Post it in the kitchen, and tell the Aspergers youngster that you will now be following it. You're likely to get some opposition, so moms and dads need to stand firm.
Step 4 - Follow the Schedule for a Week—
Check the schedule often, and let it guide your days for at least one week. Instruct the kids to check the schedule and follow it. If you must remind them, do so; but, your goal is for the kids to learn to take responsibility for their part of the schedule.
Step 5 - Tweak the Schedule—
After the first week, take a look at what is working and how the schedule needs changing. Make changes in the schedule, and write it on a new poster. Continue to follow your daily family schedule until it is second nature. In a few weeks, you'll marvel at how this simple tool has changed your family life for the better.
Here is just one of many examples of schedules for Aspergers children:
EARLY MORNING SCHEDULE—
7:30 - 8:15 a.m. - Youngster and parent prepare for breakfast.
8:15 - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast and clean-up: As youngster finishes breakfast, he reads books or listens to music until free play begins.
8:45 - 9:00 a.m. – Sharing time: Conversation and sharing time; music, movement, or rhythms; finger-plays.
9:00 - 10:00 a.m. - Free play: Youngster selects from one of the interest areas: art, blocks, library corner, table toys, house corner, sand and water.
10:00 - 10:15 a.m. - Clean-up: Youngster puts away toys and materials; as he finishes, he selects a book to read.
10:15 - 10:30 a.m. - Story time: The length of story time should vary with the age of the youngster.
10:30 - 10:50 a.m. - Snack and preparation to go outdoors.
10:50 - 11:45 a.m. - Outdoor play: Youngster selects from climbing activities, wheel toys, balls, hoops, sand and water play, woodworking, gardening, and youngster-initiated games.
11:45 - 12:00 noon - Quiet time: Youngster selects a book or listen to tapes.
LUNCH AND REST—
12:00 - 12:45 p.m. - Prepare for lunch, eat lunch, clean up: As youngster finishes lunch, he goes to the bathroom and then read books on his bed in preparation for nap time.
12:45 - 1:00 p.m. - Quiet activity prior to nap: Story, song by parent, quiet music, or story record.
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. - Nap time: As youngster awakens, he reads books or plays quiet games such as puzzles or lotto on their cots (kids who do not sleep or who awaken early are taken into another room for free play with books, table toys, and other quiet activities).
3:00 - 3:30 p.m. - Snack and preparation to go outdoors.
3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Outdoor play: Youngster selects from climbing activities, wheel toys, balls, hoops, sand and water play, woodworking, gardening, and youngster-initiated games.
4:30 - 5:15 p.m. - Free play: Youngster selects from art (activity requiring minimal clean-up time), blocks, house corner, library corner, and table toys.
5:15 - 6:00 p.m. - Clean-up: After snack, parent plans quiet activities such as table toys; songs, finger-plays, or music; stories; and coloring. Older kids might help parent prepare materials for the next day.
My Aspergers Child: Preventing Tantrums and Meltdowns in Aspergers Children