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We originally created a morning and evening schedule, as James was very resistant to getting ready for the day or for bed. We found the routine and being able to put each task into his finished envelope helped him to move through the schedule. Adding the iPad as a reward in the morning was a huge win too. We then expanded it to the whole day so that it gave him structure through his day and he would know what he was doing.
Since James is going to school next year, we are working towards teaching him strategies to use independently when he becomes extremely overwhelmed/upset. It allows him to let us know what he wants/needs without having to find the words. We show it to him once we know he is getting upset and he either points or takes what he wants off. We have found that this is often enough to help him to start calming down and these episodes don’t last as long.
James is always asking what we are doing today/tomorrow/the next day etc. The aim of the calendar is to allow him to check what is on. We have included images of everything he does routinely and we use red crosses if he isn’t doing something that week (for example, he only goes to the OT every fortnight). I also have other pictures that we can add with blu-tak if we are doing something different. We use a marker to let him know what day it is.
We use this as motivation for James. He gets a token when he does something that we want to encourage, for example cuddling his sister when she is upset, coming to the dinner table without arguing, trying something new on his plate, etc. He chooses his reward and when he gets to five tokens he gets that reward.