Jayne Gautreau
moms@nrtoday.com

Follow Me

Jayne Gautreau: Making schedules for your kids

Summer vacation is coming quickly!

In just over a week, the kids will be finishing up another school year.

For our family, routine is very important, especially for our oldest boy who is on the Autism spectrum. A daily school schedule definitely helps with keeping the stress levels in our home down, but it also seems to provide a sense of security for him, too, and the rest of us.

I think all of us thrive on a routine.

Last summer, I didn’t really have a set schedule during the day for the boys except for meal times and bed times that we kept pretty much the same as during the school year. I found that after a few weeks of this, we were all becoming frustrated. The boys were both irritable, with lots of arguing and chaos. I realized that I needed to have some kind of visual schedule in order for both boys to survive the summer at home.

We used visual schedules with Ethan when he was younger, and they were very successful!

I found an app on the iPad called “Routinely.” It was developed for children with special needs. It allows parents, teachers and caregivers to take photos and upload them to the program; then, a daily schedule can be made. Multiple schedules can be made for each child in the family or classroom, and also for different activities.

At first, I put the visual schedule together for our oldest son, but pretty soon our middle son was asking for one, too. I was able to make it personal and individual, adding daily activities and chores, appointments, etc. They both loved it; I couldn’t believe the change in atmosphere and attitude in our home! There was less arguing and fewer meltdowns, Mom included.

For my boys, checking off an activity and seeing what was next seemed to provide a sense of independence but also achievement.

Schedules are easy to put together; they help to keep order and peace. I found they also help me to plan fun activities and to be creative. Lots of ideas are available online on how to put them together. Pinterest is wonderful for finding ideas. Schedules don’t need to be complicated. They can even be written out on a sheet of paper.

One of the things on my "to do" list this upcoming week is to start putting together visual schedules for both boys. Especially with having a baby at home this summer, I know it will help out a lot!

Jayne Gautreau is married with three sons. Read her Mondays on Douglas County Moms.

For my boys, checking off an activity and seeing what was next seemed to provide a sense of independence but also achievement.


Explore Related Articles

Trending in: Douglas County Moms

Trending Sitewide

The News-Review Updated Nov 18, 2013 07:34PM Published Jun 12, 2013 12:10AM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.