Individual Schedules in the Secondary Autism Classroom

Individual schedules are one of the unique modifications that are prevalent in almost all autism classrooms.  They can be a great antecedent strategy for those guys that have difficulty transitioning, bring a sense of calm and awareness, and help some of our guys get through work when all they really want to do is get a chance on the iPad.

When I first started at my school (which at the time, was completely middle school students wth autism), everyone did those wall schedules.  You know- the ones taped to the wall with the long velcro strips and picture symbols.  Not saying that it's a bad thing!  However, as our kids get older and are likely to have been using a wall schedule for years, its really important to start thinking about transitioning them to something less restrictive.  Yes, it's time to get off the wall.

Individual schedules are paramount for success in the autism classroom.  They help our students learn to transition, manage themselves, and take the anxiety out of the school day.  See how I use individual schedules for readers and non-readers alike in my secondary autism classroom.

Before I start, I'm totally not saying wall schedules are terrible for our older kids.  You and you alone can make this decision based on your kids needs.
If you think your guys can handle it, super.

So how can we get our kids "off the wall" and using a more age-appropriate schedule?  A binder is a great way to get your kids off the wall.  How many of us carry a planner with us and hold on to it for dear life?  A binder can mimic the typical planner pretty easily.  For my students, we use simple 1/2 inch binders that we keep in the front of the classroom.

Even though all of my students have used binders for the last few years, there is still some variety between schedule, based on my students' needs.

Individual schedules are paramount for success in the autism classroom.  They help our students learn to transition, manage themselves, and take the anxiety out of the school day.  See how I use individual schedules for readers and non-readers alike in my secondary autism classroom.









Last year, four of my students have plain list-type schedules.  These are no frill (and frankly, a little boring and not Pinterest worthy.  Womp womp).










Individual schedules are paramount for success in the autism classroom.  They help our students learn to transition, manage themselves, and take the anxiety out of the school day.  See how I use individual schedules for readers and non-readers alike in my secondary autism classroom.






I have one student that used picture symbols.  He uses them the same way many students that use a wall schedule.  He would just take off a piece and place it in a envelope on the left side of his binder.













Lastly, I had a student that was visually impaired.  Since he was a non-reader and has difficulty seeing things that are not up close, he has a picture schedule with one full page of each part of the schedule.
Individual schedules are paramount for success in the autism classroom.  They help our students learn to transition, manage themselves, and take the anxiety out of the school day.  See how I use individual schedules for readers and non-readers alike in my secondary autism classroom.

This year, my students are lower-support than I have had in the past.  So much so that all of them are using this weekly schedule!  I still think it is important for them to learn the skill of using a planner to plan their day, as well as be responsible for transitions through centers.  I am in the process of modifying it slightly so that students that need help transitioning have velcro pieces with each activity.  This way, those that need it will be able to check in when they get to the center with the piece.

Individual schedules are paramount for success in the autism classroom.  They help our students learn to transition, manage themselves, and take the anxiety out of the school day.  See how I use individual schedules for readers and non-readers alike in my secondary autism classroom.


If you would like to give the weekly schedule a try, it is available as a freebie in my TPT store!  I'm also linking up with other SPED sellers and bloggers for SPED Prep Sunday.  Click the image below to find more freebies that might just make your week a little bit easier.

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