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Monday, May 31, 2010

The importance of routine...

We can help children with executive functioning issues using routines.

For example, a child with ADHD may lose track of time, not remember where they are up to or what they are meant to be doing. They may hear a school bell, and not know what it means. as bells at different times mean different things.

Routines can be used at home as well as at school. But there are some key elements to making them work.

Be Clear

The best way to make sure the routines are clear to a child is to provide them with a written or visual schedule. First thing of the day, either in class or at home, go over the schedule so the child knows the goals for the day. This will help them follow a pattern or plan to achieve the desired goals.

Goals such as getting ready for school, listening to the teacher, playing with friends, catching the bus... all these have associated behaviour and social skills. If there is a familiar routine, the child is more likely to have success with these goals.

Stick to the Plan

It is important that once you establish a routine that you stick to it. Variation can cause behaviour difficulties such as meltdowns that come out of the child's difficulty in adjusting to changes ... which is about the difficulty with flexible thinking, a topic I will discuss when I come to the self-correction element of executive functioning.

If you can't, give warning

There will be times when unforeseen circumstances may interrupt the routine. As far as you are able, make sure that you talk to the child about this. Use visuals to prepare them for the change. This could be about getting them involved in taking one thing off their timetable and replacing it with the new event. This will help them process the information.


However, as discussed in the previous post, repetition is the key. The more you repeat a process, the more automatic it will become. This way it will be easier for a child to keep track of what is going on and what they should be doing in different settings at different times.

It will help them plan, or act with purpose as they work to achieve a goal either socially or academically (Oates & Grayson, 2004).


Sue June 5, 2010 at 7:40 PM  

Looks like your comments function is working again :-)
I have been linking all of your recent posts to an autism support Ning that I have set up for teachers in the Hume Region in Victoria. How lucky your students are to be learning from you.Keep expanding your tent pegs. We need loads of inclusion savvy graduates in schools.
GBY :-)

Wendy Sargeant June 14, 2010 at 12:35 PM  

Hi Amanda,

I love your site. Click on aussiewriters and we should be able to find a spot to interview you.



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