Friday, July 8, 2011

Why Use Visual Schedules?

Information compiled by Nicole Caldwell, M.Ed.

Visual schedules have been used successfully for a variety of purposes.
•Preventing challenging behaviors before they happen (called an “antecedent intervention”).
•Reducing unpredictable transitions, frequently a cause of stress for individuals with autism.
•Increasing participation in learning activities.
•Promoting maintenance and generalization of skills.
Reference: O’Reilly, Sigafoos, Lancioni, Edrisinha, & Andrews, 2005

Visual schedules may meet the learning needs of individuals with autism.
•Individuals with autism may have difficulty with processing and understanding auditory input.
•Visual prompts may enhance communication with individuals with autism.
Reference: Bryan & Gast, 2000.

Visual schedules do more than help the student with autism.
•Schedules keep a classroom organized and provide all students with a sense of routine and structure.


Bryan, L. C. and Gast, D. L. (2000). Teaching on-task and on-schedule behaviors to high-functioning children with autism via picture activity schedules. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 30(6).

O’Reilly, M., Sigafoos, J., Lancioni, G., Edrisinha, C., and Andrews, A. (2005). An examination of the effects of a classroom activity schedule on levels of self-injury and engagement for a child with severe autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 35(3).

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