It might surprise you to know that I sometimes apply techniques learned in Special Ed classrooms on my own son. I'm pretty sure Peter is neuro-typical, but that doesn't mean I don't coax him to try new foods by employing steps used by occupational therapists (Smell it. Touch it. Kiss it. Lick it. Taste it.).
One thing you see a lot in schools are what's called Visual Activity Schedules. Teachers use them in many ways, and for many purposes. They're great because children get to handle and use them too. A few months ago, I made a schedule for Peter. We started using it every day, and it helped him so much! It really took the burden of the constant "no" away. We had less crying, less whining. I could say, "Check your schedule," and he would run (often excitedly) to see what came next. The best part is that it helped us keep the TV off until after "Quiet Time." He still asks to watch earlier in the day, but rarely throws a tantrum when I tell him we have to wait.
Here's what our day looks like:
And because they are re-arrangeable:
I still get the flexibility that I need! (I have extra cards with various chores, and one for shopping.)
If Peter needs redirection, we can look at the schedule, and he pulls off the things we've already done, and sticks them on the back of the poster for tomorrow. Whichever card is now on top, is what he is supposed to do next.
I also made this special bedtime schedule:
|For this one, we let him choose the order|
Bedtime was really becoming a struggle. My little wildman was all over the place, running giggling, trying to play. It was exhausting, so this schedule has been a huge help.
Most of the cards come from do2learn.com. I printed, cut, and "laminated" them with packing tape. Someday, I'll put velcro on them, but for now, they just have masking tape. I also put rows of tape on the posters so we can reuse them.
Update: We don't use our schedule very often anymore! Peter has got used to it, and our days are much smoother. Still, I think I may bring it back. When we used it more often, I found that I did more chores too!