Visual wall planners are great for anybody to see their schedule laid out in front of them. They’re particularly helpful for autistic people, helping them process information clearly and visually.
Let’s break down what a visual schedule planner is, how it can be helpful for autistic people and their families, and what types of planners are best - be it a weekly planner board,monthly organiser or annual planner.
What Is a Visual Schedule Planner?
A visual schedule planner can be any planner that visually represents activities, relying on visuals over auditory information. Big wall planners visible to the whole family let every family member know what’s going on.
For many people, these sorts of visual schedule planners can help them organise their time efficiently. For others, an even more visual approach is helpful. Using pictures or symbols to represent different tasks and events can be extremely beneficial. Referring to an autistic person’s existing symbol library means that the same symbols refer to the same behaviours each time (e.g. a hairbrush for ‘brush hair’). Integrating this sort of thing into an autism planner means a higher likelihood that the tool will be effective.
Why are Visual Schedule Planners Helpful For Autistic People?
While everybody is different and will therefore have different preferences and ways of interpreting information, visual schedule planners have been proven to be a great tool. By breaking tasks down visually, it allows some autistic people to better understand and interpret the information in front of them.
Just having a schedule up on the wall can be a big comfort. Knowing what is ahead with an Autism day planner or Autism weekly planner can massively reduce anxiety and help build valuable habits and routines for years to come.
A Useful Tool For Autistic Children
In addition, many autistic children struggle with feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliar or unexpected situations. This can often lead to meltdowns or shutdowns, which can be both frustrating and exhausting for both the Autistic child and their caregivers.
One way to help autistic children feel more in control and reduce anxiety is through the use of a visual schedule planner such as an Autism day planner or Autism weekly planner. This can help an autistic child understand what is going to happen throughout the day and provide a sense of predictability. For some autistic children, just knowing what is going to happen next can be immensely reassuring.
Planning With a Visual Planner
When it comes to planning things out on a visual planner, there are a few ways you can go about it. To break them down into the two biggest categories, let’s take a look at planning with routine charts for Autism and big-picture planning.
Many of us thrive when we have a daily routine. This can mean having every minute of the day planned out or being a little more relaxed depending on the person. Routine charts for Autism can help secure that routine in place, ensuring every member of the family knows what is happening and when.
One of our best forms of routine charts for Autism is our To Do List. The autism resources allow you to list out every task that needs to get done, from brushing your teeth to putting away dishes. You can then tick off each completed task for every day of the week.
Big Picture Planning
Big-picture planning boards do exactly what you’d think - they plan out the big picture. Having a planner that shows any events, activities, and out-of-the-ordinary tasks that are coming up can lessen anxiety and help autistic people feel more prepared for what’s to come.
Our Command Centre Wall Planner is as ‘big-picture’ as planning gets. It’s completely customizable, with a monthly calendar to mark down important upcoming dates, a weekly schedule to highlight routine activities, and plenty of room to write notes, to-do lists, meal plans, and more, this big-picture planner leaves no event unplanned.
Looking for more planners that can help you and your family get organised?
Browse our range of weekly, monthly, and annual planners to discover the best option for your planning needs. Rather than Hook and loop fasteners, we use easy 3M hanging tape for our small and medium planners, making life a little easier for our valued customers.
You can also check out our Facebook Page to see reviews and our planners in action!