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How do i get my son to use a picture schedule?

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 1:55 AM
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He does good at school with it,but all he wants to do at home is take it apart.The in home trainer said to leave it where he has access to it.That isn't working out to well.Does anyone have any suggestions for me?He's 4yrs old.

by on Aug. 28, 2009 at 1:55 AM
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jalemans
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2009 at 3:47 PM

When we use the story board/schedule, we have a little pocket & when we are done with something, Matthew can take it off & put it in the pocket.  Matthew doesn't get access to make the schedule -- we use it to visually show him what is going to happen, so he really doesn't have access to play around with it too much. 

He uses his PECs for communicating to us & these are just kept in a little 3-ring binder with velcro.  At one time he started pulling PECs out of the book randomly & what I did was pretend that I thought he was asking for whatever PEC he had in his hand -- he quickly tired of that game.

destiny29
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2009 at 9:05 PM

    I was taught the TEACCH method of using PECS for my son. (In NC, once you become a TEACCH kid and entered into their program, they have free 1 on 1 parenting seesions you can sign up for. We had to wait on a list but it was 6 free sessions.)

    Anyway, what we did was set up the picture schedule next to the bedroom door. All the pieces are velcro and laminated. We make sure that we balance each task with a play time as a "reward" for doing work and to give him a chance to release the pent up energy. So we have things like reading practice (picture of book) followed by play (picture of ball) followed by "OT" (picture of rotary board) followed by play (ball again)- it's something called "sandwhiching" which is where we put an easy or fun activity in between the hard activities. It's Vertical all the way down the door. He rips off the picture of the activity and he carries it to whatever we are doing where there is a basket or folder waiting for him to put it in there. For example, reading, he rips the picture off the schedule and carries it to the couch where I have the basket waiting for him to put it in. (The carrying o the picture helps him not to get side-tracked.) I also use a timer in conjunction with the PECS. When the timer goes off I say "Check schedule" and hand him a picture of a check mark. He then carries the check mark to the wall PECS schedule and places it in the hanging envelope or basket with the picture of a check mark on it. He looks up and sees the picture of the ball which he then rips off and hands to me. He has to say "Time for play" before I let go of his hand and set the timer for 5-10 minutes depending on how much time I need to set up for our next "task." The timer goes off, I hand him the check mark and say "check schedule" again. He carries the check mark to his wall schedule and looks up and sees "OT." He rips the rotary board picture off and carries it to the livingroom or wherever the board is set up and places it in the basket I have waiting for him. I set the timer, we do our OT until the timer goes off. It goes on like this all day. Now, you can allow for "extended play" by simply setting the timer for a longer period of time. I would warn that the younger the child, the less "free time" you need to give them. Keep them engaged in a structured activity as much as possible.  When we have to go out, I simply set the PECS up to accomodate for what needs to be done in order to get out the door on time, keeping the check mark and timer handy. (I use a cheap, dollar tree kitchen timer that fits in my pocket if need be.) I will put up PECS like "Shoes on" followed by "Use potty" followed by "coat on" followed by "car" and I allow at least 5 minutes for each step in the getting ready to leave process, so if I have to be out the door by 10:30 AM, I will set the PECS schedule to start at 10:10 AM. It is a process,  but once your child "gets it" you can start setting the timer for longer amounts of time. The key is that they have to look at the schedule, carry the picture to the desired place and tell you with words what the picture means. It's structured, visual and easier for them to understand than simply posting a schedule and saying "Look at the board." I also have a small PECS schedule that hangs over the back of my chair in my car. I will velcro up pctures of the places we have to go while we are out and we rip them off at each stop. This makes sure he knows where he is going so that he isn't as nervous or caught off guard when we stop at the gas station before we get the therapy or the store. (You would have laughed so hard when I was driving around town taking pictures of Walmart, the gas station, the park, the library, etc. I know people must've thought I was crazy!)

     Now using PECS for communication is a matter of repetition, repetition, repetition. You will want to use the same pictures and symbols his teacher uses at school. Things like food items, using the potty, etc.- all those pictures need to be the exact same PECS. Your child's teacher should be able to provide you with some and also how to use them for your particular child. I hope this helps!!!

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