Visual Schedule

Visual ScheduleMany adults and children with special needs use Visual Schedules as a way of communicating, providing a means of instruction and organization to their lives.

Autistic children and adults think in pictures. In their mind and in their understanding they see actual pictures/visuals when they try to process information that they are receiving. Creating Visual Schedules and pictures can help them to understand and communicate on a level that is uniquely personal to them.

Temple Grandin

Temple is the world’s most famous & influential Autistic person.

Conor, for example uses pictures to request what he would like as he is unable to speak yet. He has a folder that is full of different pictures he uses. Generally people who use pictures to communicate would call the folder a PECS Book. The word PECS stands for “Picture Exchange Communication System”. We have to update the folder regularly with new pictures as with all children his preferences, needs and wants change over time.

Pecs Book

Example of the front of a PECS Book

A Visual Schedule helps Conor to understand what is happening in his life. Many Autistic children take language very literally for example, if I said to Conor “it is raining cats and dogs today outside” he would run off and hide mainly because he is afraid of cats (like his mammy when she was small!) and also because he would take what I said to mean “there will be cats and dogs falling out of the sky on top of me if I go outside”.


Printable available through email over on my facebook page.

Pictures and Visual Schedules provide concrete ideas and thought formations for Autistic children, ensuring they understand exactly what you mean and this helps to prevent anxiety and fear. It is vital as a special needs parent of an Autistic Child to be able to make visual schedules and pictures for your child. I plan to do a series of Tutorials on various Visual Schedules, Social Stories, Pictures and so on- upcoming Tutorial Information will be posted on my Facebook Page The Little Puddins Blog.

Pecs Book

Inside of a Pecs Book

For this tutorial I will be showing you the basics of what you do once you have your printable ready. (I will prepare another tutorial at a later date explaining how you create a printable from the beginning) I have already prepared the documents for this tutorial and added in extra embellishment which you wouldn’t normally use. I added in extra background detailing to highlight how you place the pictures/visuals on the word document.

Morning Schedule

Printable version available through email on my Facebook page

There are various methods to compiling a printable, a basic way is to search on google and copy/paste images you want into a word document format. It all depends on what kind of visuals/pictures you need. As mentioned I will prepare a full tutorial at a later date on how to create a printable.

Once you have your document prepared, print it off in color or black/white depending on your needs. At the same time you will also be printing off  a visual schedule in the same manner. I have copied and pasted a Visual Schedule I prepared for Conor onto a word document, re-sized and printed it.

Visual Schedule

Documents printed

When you are ready to print you also need to consider the paper you are going to use. Generally If I were printing off a Visual Schedule, (see the yellow printed “My Morning Schedule” in the picture above) I would use card as opposed to printer paper as this will be used everyday So I want to make sure it is durable. The paper you use for the pictures/visuals (blue document above) depends on how often your child will be using them. If I am printing off pictures of nursery rhymes then I will use a thinner paper but if I am printing of pictures Conor uses alot then I would use card as again it is more durable.

Creating and preparing the documents and all the steps thereafter takes a lot of time and effort depending on the amount you are creating. You should consider durability when you decide on paper choices.

Visual Schedule

Cut away the excess paper.

Now your documents are printed you need to cut them down to size so that you can prepare them to be laminated. If you have a child who is using pictures to communicate or visual schedules a good Printer and Laminator will be a household staple. You will be able to find both of these items in Argos/Harvey Normans and many supermarkets now carry them aswell. Laminating pouches are quiet inexpensive and you can again pick them up in the aforementioned places.

When I am laminating I would always run the Visual Schedules through the laminator twice to make sure it is well sealed as it will be used a lot and I want to make it as durable as possible. Once all the documents have gone through the laminator you allow them to cool down and then you cut them down to size as you did the paper documents.


Laminating the Schedules

Thereafter you add sticky back velcro. There are two sides to velcro; a rough side and a smooth side. Decide on which side you want on the back of the pictures and put the opposite on the front of the Visual Schedule in the spaces provided.


Attach Velcro once laminated.


You have now prepared Visual Schedules and Pictures to help your child communicate. Well done.xx

If you would like a copy of the printable I created for this tutorial please go to my Facebook page and send me a private message and I will email you on the printable for free for followers of my Blog.x

You can find a link to my Facebook page here.

Thank you for stopping by, feel free to share.x

Visual Schedule

Well done.x

Speak Your Mind