Scheduling…easy thing to do right? Well as a single mom of an active 9 year old with autism, scheduling can be a mess. We have sports, work, homework, ABA therapy, doctors appointments…can anyone else relate? I use my phone and carry a daily planner with me to keep track but let me tell you about my son. As a child with ADHD and Autism scheduling and preparing for what is coming next is everything to him. As I am only a year into his diagnoses I am learning so many things I can do to help him through his daily routine. Coming home from school/work can be stressful. As a working mom I work till 5:00p, my son stays with my parents till I get off work and then we head home where we have homework, reading time, play time, dinner, shower then bed. How do you fit all this in such a short amount of time? Scheduling!!!! His ABA therapist showed me this simple thing I can do, anyone can do it. You don’t need a fancy calendar, chore chart, etc. You can use a piece of paper if you really wanted. For me we use a whiteboard, its easy to erase when you need to change up your schedule. When we get home we sit and create our schedule for the evening together. Here is an example of what we write on the board.
- Play with trains
- Project with Rachel (his therapist)
We create this schedule together so he has a sense of control and he gets to determine what he is going to do for his “free time.” He tells me his preferred activities and I put the one’s he has to do. Homework is always at the top but he can eat earlier if he wants, switch up time with Rachel or playing something, we are flexible. Let me tell you, you’re probably thinking this is so simple and you know what it is and its AMAZING!!!!! He checks off each task as he gets through them and when he completes the main ones he earns a reward which motivates him. It has been a blessing for us. I have tried the earn a sticker charts, chore charts, just telling him each task and its always a struggle but this has been successful for us. Any other parents out there have scheduling ideas they use? Would love to hear them.