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With kids, bedtime can be rough to say the least. If your child struggles with transitions, it can be a downright daunting task.
For children with autism especially, knowing what’s coming next, what’s expected of them, can mean the difference between a peaceful transition and a major meltdown.
Fortunately, putting a routine into place and staying consistent with it can help to alleviate many of those issues. Having a visual schedule that allows your child to see the steps required of them to complete a task as well as their progress through them is even better.
With bedtime being an often exhausting experience for both the parents and the child, implementing a visual schedule can create a much calmer, more relaxing way to end the day that won’t leave you both dreading it as soon as dinner ends.
I have known for months now, since we first start using our morning routine visual schedule, that we needed to create one for bedtime as well. It has worked so well for us that many of our meltdowns have been eliminated.
If you’ve been a long time reader then you’ve heard me say before that our little guy thrives on a routine. Knowing exactly what is coming next and having a routine that he is both comfortable and familiar with is essential to getting through our day.
What I was not expecting however, was just how much they would help our youngest as well. While she is not on the spectrum, she is already starting to realize that in the mornings, we do things in a certain order and looking at the pictures allow her to see what we’ll be doing next. She no longer fights while brushing her teeth because she knows that afterwards, we’ll get dressed and then she can go play.
With the bedtime schedule, I wanted to create something a little bit more fun for them to make following this routine a little bit easier and so far they are loving it. They’ve both started to know, without even looking at the schedule, that baths come first, then we get pajamas on, comb their hair, everyone brushes their teeth and then gets into bed where we finish up our night with a bedtime story. It has taken so much stress out of bedtime that now I’m trying to figure out what other parts of our day can be smoothed over with the help of one of these :)
So, if you’re struggling with a bedtime battle of your own, I hope this visual schedules helps you and your little ones turn it into a more positive and relaxing experience for all of you!