Examples of Schedules for Kids with ASD Level 1


I have a 5 yr old son who has been diagnosed with high functioning autism 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 ASD or High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) 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 kids' day.

When you understand the nature of attachment in older kids on the autism spectrum, you realize that shared communication and goals replace the attachment patterns of younger ones. The daily schedule communicates the family's shared goals and allows kids to contribute to their accomplishment. Each time the child follows the schedule, he 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 parents' and kids' 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 your Asperger's or HFA youngster that you will now be following it. You're likely to get some opposition, so you'll need to stand firm.

==> Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Asperger's and HFA Children

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 children on the spectrum:


7:30 - 8:15 a.m. - Jacob and mom prepare for breakfast.

8:15 - 8:45 a.m. - Breakfast and clean-up: As Jacob 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: Jacob 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: Jacob 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 your youngster).

10:30 - 10:50 a.m. - Snack and preparation to go outdoors.

10:50 - 11:45 a.m. - Outdoor play: Jacob selects from climbing activities, wheel toys, balls, hoops, sand and water play, woodworking, gardening, and child-initiated games.

11:45 - 12:00 noon - Quiet time: Jacob selects a book or listen to tapes.


12:00 - 12:45 p.m. - Prepare for lunch, eat lunch, clean up: As Jacob 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 Jacob 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: Jacob 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: Jacob 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, mom plans quiet activities such as table toys; songs, finger-plays, or music; stories; and coloring (older kids might help you prepare materials for the next day).

Schedules are particularly helpful in cases where the Asperger's or HFA child is exhibiting oppositional behavior (see video below).


•    Anonymous said... If he attends school, this will be part of his routine.. Wake up same time in the morning, put clothes on, eat breakfast, brush teeth, comb hair, go to school. After school, you need to get him in an activity so he can be around other kids his age in a "Social" enviroment examples: Gymnastics, T-Ball, Soccer.. When he gets home get a snack, do homework, "playtime" or "Practice", dinner, bath, bedtime.. Life is busy and most can't stay on a such schedules, but let him know several times the day before what activities y'all have for the next day.. Remind in the morning, after school, before bed.. Also remind him of the activites y'all have planned that day, even if it it's going to the store... It is best to try to slowly change his routine without him knowing so he can get used to change.... but start off with a certain schedule.. Good Luck.. My son was diagnosed 2 years ago when he was 10 he is now 12 and theses are things I did for him without knowing he had asbergers.. Today you wouldn't know he had it because he is very social... Get play dates, get him in to sports even if doesn't want to, push him, push push him, becaus the end result is worth it...

•    Anonymous said... Good ideas!! Yes, routine routine routine. Also make sure that if there's a major change try to let him know ahead of time. In a perfect world we can predict changes but obviously that doesn't happen, particularly in school. Have safety nets (people) set up in place so that if a sudden, unexpected change happens and a meltdown occurs that he has support to help him through it. The more you can tell teachers and staff members at school about his needs, his "triggers" the better off he is. After awhile it gets to be second hand nature for everyone, and it does get better!!
•    Anonymous said... I break the schedule down into parts and put the visual schedules up near the areas where he needs to complete the tasks. Ex. the "get out of the house" schedule to go to school is by the door; the bathroom bedtime routine is in the bathroom. This gives the visual schedules a context. You can try googling it for some ideas too on what they can look like. I modeled mine after the ones that are in my son's schools. Weekends were the hardest for us until we sat down at the breakfast table that morning and made a visual schedule for that day as well. So long as we keep to the routine, we do far better. I've heard that there are also some apps to help with this, though I have not explored them yet. I find that when we have this structure, he is also a bit more adaptive if we need to make a slight change. Good luck.
•    Anonymous said... give him a lot of small chores to help you and often say after we do this then you can do that. Give him pockrts of free time, ask nim how he wants to use it.Use a list for yourself but not for him. he will get the list in his brain in a short time. Thru the day 3-5 times say we only have 8 or 10 or 12 things left to do possibly the momentum of the number lowering will trigger him to offer assistance or cooperation try to schedule music video games and tv time and steer these away from overstimulating pumping excess choices to nature or animal stuff.
•    Anonymous said... Mine is a bit different than Kim Cohen's, but still very very visual.... One way I know is to put a laminated sign by his breakfast spot that shows him combing hair and brushing teeth in the bathroom. Then in the bathroom another sign shows him in his room getting clothes on. Then in his room it shows him grabbing his backpack and coat and setting it by the door. Our key to success is NO downtime in the am. If he gets started playing and then has to stop to head to school - it's no good. If he's "off track" you can prompt him by asking him what he should be doing right now rather than telling him. Always put it on him so he learns it's HIS responsibility. In the PM, you can make your routine more time oriented. 3-315 snack. 3:15 to 3:30 computer time. 3:30 - 4:00 free choice or quiet reading. Etc, Etc. Good luck!!!
•    Anonymous said... First, dear Mother of your As kiddo. Don't forget to breathe. My daughter changes drastically when there is ANY transition that deviates from her normal day to day routines. I agree with the parents comments above. Posting "to do" lists is good. I let my daughter decide what order to do her morning before school things on a numbered list. I find that even in school, this helps her fourth grade teacher see that visual cues help. Mostly, touching my daughter physically, on her elbow seem to be her most responsive spot, and asking, "can I ask you something?" instead of giving commands from across the room works great so I don't escalate in frustration as she really is not capable at times to "hear me". Also, LOTS of activities that allow rocking, swinging, being "squished" by pillows or rolled up tight in a favorite blanket...having time to decompress with their fave activity right after school. Allowing them to pick friends when they are ready but encourage them by becoming acquainted with Moms and other kiddos who your child "clicks" well with. Best of my prayers and compassion. Please feel free to send me a private message anytime.
•    Anonymous said... The picture check list in each room is what I use with my seven yr old and it seems to work really well with him ex. In the bathroom his check list is get a bath, brush teeth, and put dirty clothes in hamper and I let him mark off his progress as he completes them. He seems to like marking off the tasks as he completes them I think it gives him a sense of accomplishment. I use the my magnetic responsibility chart made my Melissa & Doug it has been a Hugh help for both Him and me. :)

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