Visual Schedules

Visual Schedules Protocol

Visual Schedule Rubric

What and Why:

One component of structuring an environment by telling a student what activities will occur and in what sequence. They assist with sequential memory, organization of time, language comprehension, decreasing anxiety levels, and helping a student transitioning independently.

Materials Needed:

  • Materials will vary. Some examples include:

visual schedule

How and When to Implement:

  • In developing a visual schedule, the following student questions need to be answered:
    • What am I expected to do?
    • How much am I expected to do?
    • How will I know when I am finished?
    • Where do I put my finished work?
    • What will I get when I’m done or what do I do next?
  • This would be useful when a student needs support with completing daily routines.
  • Implement throughout the day to provide visual support of a student’s routine.
  • Teach/model using the visual support when first introduced.
  • When coaching or prompting, point to individual visuals using limited verbal information.
  • The goal is to extinguish pointing and verbal so that the student is able to use the visual support independently.

Things to Consider/Problem Solving:

  • Think about the number of icons displayed at one time.
  • Think about if the visuals will be real objects, real pictures, symbols, or words.
  • Think about creating mini-schedules to break down steps within a task.
  • When a student is responding, continue utilizing this support and keep visuals in place even when a student has memorized their schedule/routine. The team may want to consider moving towards a more student directed or age appropriate visual support (e.g. calendar on iphone).

Useful Resources to Learn More:


Click to return to Best Practices for Supporting Students with Autism

Information compiled by Lincoln Public Schools Autism Team  (September 2015)