Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support
Sensory Processing Disorder Parent Support

Visual Picture Schedules

Children with sensory differences ... painting the world beautiful.  

Visual Picture Schedules

Jeanette Loftus 

child with sensory differences holding a visual picture schedule Visual Picture Schedules
Children with sensory processing disorder may struggle with daily tasks like routines and following with instructions. This is why using visual schedules can be so beneficial for children.

Visual schedules are tools that help with sensory difficulties, especially children, to better understand expectations, manage their time, and regulate their sensory input.

There are several different types of visual schedules like photos, drawings, or written words, and are displayed in a sequence that outlines the daily tasks and activities.

A visual schedule is a set of visual aids that helps a child understand daily routines, activities and their transitions. They provide predictability for a child and consistency throughout a child's day.

Visual schedules usually are pictures or symbols for each task or activity in a child's day. They are arranged in a order as they are going to happen. Visual picture schedules can be used in many different ways to help children know what is coming next and provide them with a sense of control over what is happening in their life.

These visual schedules can help reduce anxiety and frustration for children by giving them some predictability or structure. A visual schedule show a child visually what is going to happen and the order of events.
When changes happen in a child's life unexpectedly it can lead to a child having a meltdown or display some behavior problems. Using a visual schedule can develop a positive routine and the ability to cope with changes easier in their daily routines. 
Visual schedules can be very beneficial for children who struggle with sensory processing differences because they provide a solid visual of what is expected of them.
This is especially helpful for children who struggle with language and communication, as visual schedules do not require verbal instructions. Through visual cues, children with sensory challenges can better understand what is expected of them and can follow along. 
child with sensory processing disorder looking at their daily picture schedule Visual Picture Schedules
There are a lot of resources online to help parents and teachers create visual schedules for children with sensory processing disorder. One popular tool is the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which uses pictures or symbols to assist with communication and understanding. This system is often used for children with communication challenges, including those with sensory processing disorder. 
Another useful resource is the Boardmaker software, which allows users to create visual schedules with customizable pictures and symbols. This software is widely used in schools and therapy settings to create visual aids for children with various developmental needs.
Visual schedules use pictures and symbols that can be easier for children with sensory processing issues to understand. This can improve their understanding of daily routines and tasks and help them with communication. 
Visual schedules provide structure and predictability for children with sensory processing disorder and help reduce their anxiety and sensory meltdowns.  
Types of visual schedules child with ADHD and sensory processing disorder holding a visual picture schedule Visual Picture Schedules

When children know what to expect in their day, they are less likely to become overwhelmed. Children who struggle with sensory difficulties can become more independent when they complete tasks and activities on their daily visual schedules. This can really help children by boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence.
Visual schedules can also assist children with sensory processing disorder to manage their time better. When a child has visuals of daily tasks and activities, they can better pace themselves and stay on their daily routines. 
parent and child with sensory processing disorder and autism visual picture schedule  who creates a visual schedule
Who creates the picture schedule?
- Teachers
- Parents

- Caregivers

- Occupational Therapist

- Speech therapists

- Behavior Coaches

Steps to be successful
- Be consistent. Use it religiously

- Break down each task to individual steps

- Make it positive  
Visual Schedules are made to be a positive visual support. Picture schedules help to put the child and an adult on the same page with better communication, organization and predictability. This can reduce a child's stress, build a child's confidence, improve a child's self management. 

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DISCLAIMER: I am not an Occupational Therapist. I am an adult who has Sensory Processing Disorder, a sensory parent and a Grandma. The information on this website is not medical advice and does not replace the information that your child's therapists gives you. These are just ideas and information that I have learned myself over the years of being a parent and an adult living with SPD. If you are concerned for your child, please always seek medical attention through a family doctor, pediatrician or therapist. This website is for suggestions and informational purposes only. Each child is different and what works for one child may not for another because all children have different needs. Please always consult with a professional. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links on my website.  Each of your purchases through links on my website for Amazon affiliation links or sponsored links support me but no additional cost to you so thank you. I appreciate it so much!