#SelfAdvocacySunday-Active participant in a variety of settings

Hi, there! Happy last Sunday of 2018, and last #SelfAdvocacySunday post of the year, too.

This post not only helps with self-advocacy, it also helps with getting back into the routine of school.  A tool that is immensely beneficial at home and at school is a visual schedule. A visual schedule is great for all kids, but for kids with a hearing loss it provides structure and helps with transitions, sets the stage for great language to happen, and can reduce behavior problems and anxiety.  Children like to have some control over what is happening in their life; kids who are deaf or hard of hearing are no different. Visual schedules can lead to greater independence as well.

At school, especially for younger students, there is probably a standard routine for morning arrival…Put coats on coat rack, put backpacks in cubbies, make your lunch choice and come sit on the carpet.  A visual schedule will remind the students what to do, with pictures conveying meaning as well as words.

At home, anything that is done can be turned into a visual schedule…how to set the table, how to play a game, or how to brush teeth.  You can start with some easy ones. Understood.org has several ready-made, or you can make your own. Getting Ready for School, Getting Ready for Bed, Afterschool Routine, and Cleaning Bedroom.

Afterschool Routine Visual Schedule

Best is to practice the schedule before the actual time to use the schedule.  Do some role-play and run through the events. Make sure you use lots of language!  Make sure that your child knows all the steps before you expect him/her to go through the schedule semi-independently.  Start this before your child(ren) return to school after this winter break and see what a difference it makes.