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How to Make an Inexpensive Visual Schedule for Your Special Needs Student

By Kristin Jennifer ; Updated April 18, 2017
A picture communicates more to children who have difficulty with language.

A visual schedule emphasizes pictures or images rather than words. Children with trouble reading words or remembering what words symbolize may benefit more from a visual schedule that shows images related to what is to be done and in the order they must be done. For example, morning chores can be depicted as a broom, and eating lunch can be depicted as a sandwich.

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Make a list of the things that the special needs child must do and the order in which they must be done. Leave room to the left of each item for drawing. Associating the images with the words will help the child make the correlation between the reading and the image.

Draw images related to the task. Draw a baseball catcher's mitt to represent baseball practice.

Add color to the images you have drawn for fun and variety. For example, draw red threads on your image of a baseball or green lettuce on a drawing of a sandwich.

Post the schedule where the child can see it. If the child must carry the schedule around with him, slip the schedule into a folder or plastic cover.

Things You Will Need

  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Optional - colored pencils


Use photos cut from magazines instead of drawings, and tack them to your paper using gummy tack.

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About the Author

Kristin Jennifer began writing professionally in 2010, with her work appearing on eHow. She has five years of experience working as an immigration specialist in Houston and New York City. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in economics from Barnard College.

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