Using “Change in Routine Card” as a Visual Tool for Autism

Most children with Autism tend to get upset when there is a sudden change in routine. This can lead to stress, anxiety or even occasional meltdowns.

A “Change in Routine Card” is an extremely powerful tool to prepare your child for any upcoming change in circumstances.

GETTING STARTED RESOURCES

You will need to download the following resources even before you get started:

  • Download the Change in Routine Visual as shown below and get as many printouts as you need. CLICK HERE to download the PDF version.
change in routine card - visual tool
Click on the above image to download
  • Download the PDF TipSheet that shows an example of how to use the Change in Routine Visual Tool. Click the button below:

Visual Supports Guide download

Now that you have the essential resources and the Tipsheet, you need to prepare your child for an upcoming change.

6 Key Questions to Prepare for Change

Communicating a change in Routine to your child needs a bit of planning. Once you have identified a change that you need to communicate, ensure that you have the answers for the following 6 questions:

  • What is the change?
  • Why is the change necessary?
  • When is the change likely to happen?
  • How long will the change last?
  • How frequently will the change occur?
  • What role does the Child need to play?
Using the Change In Routine Card

I requested my friend Sean Kent from Geneva Center to post this video for you on how to use the Change in Routine Card.

A common question that parents and educators often ask me is ..

How advanced the notice needs to be?

Honestly, that depends on the severity of the change.

For example, if you are just taking a detour to the grocery before dropping off your child to school, only a few hours of advanced notice using a single Change card should be good enough.

However, if you are planning on a BIG change like enrolling your child into a new school or moving to a different city, you need to prepare for months in advance. Such a big change often involves multiple smaller change elements – each to be accompanied by its own Change in Routine card.

 

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