Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March OT Tip of the Month {Visual Schedules}

Hi friends!

My primary reason for starting this blog almost two years ago was for collaboration. And collaboration I have done! Whether it be questions from parents, planning for inclusion therapy with teachers, learning and sharing ideas with other SLPs, or asking questions to SLPs, OTs and PTs, the last 2 years have been invaluable to me as an SLP! I cannot stress this enough: collaboration and close working relationships with parents and other professionals is paramount to student success! I'm very blessed to have an amazing team of individuals who work very closely together. We are constantly discussing kiddos, brainstorming new ideas, sharing updates with each other, and reinforcing each others' goals in our own sessions!

One of the OTs in my school puts out an "OT Tip of the Month" every month for teachers and service providers. I asked her permission to share these tips on my blog, as they are great ideas for teachers, SLPs, OTs, parents, and others! Here's her March Tip of the Month below with a picture example:

This time of the year one of the frustrations I hear often repeated is…
“ We have been in school since August, they should know the morning routine. I have to keep telling them what to do!”
If this sounds familiar, I may have a solution…an individual laminated visual schedule that has the steps to complete the morning routine numbered in order. As the student completes each step they can check it off with a dry erase marker. I like to make these narrow in width so they can be laminated and attached with Velcro to the side of the desk. This serves 3 purposes: 1)  it doesn’t get lost in the desk; 2)they have quick access to it and 3) it is out of the way when they aren’t using it.
You may wonder why this is necessary…”why can’t they just remember the routine and what I tell them??” The reason is that many students struggle with the auditory processing of verbal information, have difficulty with recall and short term memory, or have decreased attention and focus. Using a strategy such as a written list of steps to complete can make all the difference in the world and help make your student more independent, complete work in a more timely manner, and decrease disruptions to the class!   
Have a nice day!
Michele L. Frommer, OTR/L

For younger students or non-readers, use visuals to reinforce a schedule! Thanks so much for sharing your tip, Michele! Do you guys use visual schedules with your students?




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