Importance of Keeping a Summer Schedule
Curtis Harris, BCBA
- Daily Schedule: A schedule displayed either in text or picture that conveys the order and times of events each day.
- Activity Schedule: “A set of pictures or words that cues someone to engage in a sequence of activities… The goal of teaching schedule use is to enable children with autism to perform tasks and activities without direct prompting and guidance by parents or teachers.” (McClannahan & Krantz, 2010).
- Organize a daily schedule in terms of your child’s and your family’s needs.
- Describe the benefits of activity schedules according to the ABA literature.
- Select a method for training an activity schedule that most suits your child’s needs.
- Locate resources to implement your selected method.
Benefits - Increase
- Increase independence for:
- Appropriate solitary play
- Academic work
- Increase social interactions:
- Increase collaborative work skills
- Broaden interests
- Maintain value of preferred activities
Benefits - Decrease
- Decrease stereotypy
- Decrease problem behaviors:
- Picture object correspondence.
- Accept manual guidance.
- 6-8 visual directions presented individually (Frost & Bondy 2002).
What Activities to Include
- Contribute to household (chore)
- Social interaction
- Outside exercise
- Community – recreational
- Community – errands
- Broaden interest
- Preferred activities
- Independent play
- Academic/reading time
- Quiet time
Deciding on the Order
- Rule #1: Preferred activities follow nonpreferred activities.
- Before highly nonpreferred, schedule a slightly preferred activity.
- Schedule a quiet activity before bedtime (no screen time).
Tips on Building the Schedule
- Make 2 lists (don’t worry about order):
- 1) Time-specific daily activities – meals, self-care and bedtime routine
- 2) Other activities to include.
- Arrange the time-specific activities in order.
- Arrange non-time-specific priority activities.
- Arrange preferred activities.
- Binder (McClannahan & Krantz, 2010).
- Strip (Frost & Bondy, 2002)
- Powerpoint (Reinfeld et al., 2004)
Signaling End of Activity
- What is the natural cue?
- Project complete.
- Lunch items have all been consumed.
- The last page of a book has been read.
- Timer beeps.
- A video ends.
Teaching Flexibility (Frost & Bondy, 2002)
- Place a picture symbolizing surprise (!).
- The learner waits to hear what the surprise is.
- Begin with pleasant surprises (e.g. ice cream party!).
- Once the learner anticipates something different, begin neutral surprises (substitute one preferred snack for another).
- Eventually, you can use for nonpreferred surprises (no outside time because it is raining).
Language (Frost & Bondy, 2002)
- Sabotage the routine!
- Learner goes to get forks but they aren’t there.
- Learner goes to get forks but something else is in there place (socks!)
- Required items are visible but out of reach.
- There are not enough forks
Collaboration (White et al., 2011)
- Trained two children to clean the kitchen.
- Listed steps on laminated sheet.
- Child crossed off the step before beginning it.
- Other child began next step and crossed it off before beginning.
- A more ideal task would have been baking cake or cookies.
- Avoid verbal prompts.
- Independent activities: “Activity Schedules for Children with Autism” by McClannahan and Krantz.
- Want more information?