how to make a photo flip chart

using his flip chart
this year we have been working on a healthy morning routine for luca.  starting his day off smoothly helps start our whole family's day off smoothly.  we know luca does well with visual cues and needed to incorporate them.  he is also a very literal kiddo.  generic symbols or stock photos confused and frustrated him.  last month i took the time to make a personalized photo flip chart.  this simple DIY has made a huge flip chart DIY
i began by choosing his must-do morning tasks - getting dressed, making his bed, eating breakfast, etc. - taking a representative photo of each.  then came cropping, printing and laminating each photo.  (i used a picasa collage.)  the laminated cards were hole punched and combined with a binder ring.  this ring is hung next to his bed, so he can grab it upon waking.

right now he has nine tasks on the ring.  we didn't suddenly spring these tasks on him.  they are age appropriate and have accumulated over months and years.  there was training involved in helping him learn the how of each task.  and when something begins to slip, we come alongside and retrain.

the ultimate goal is for him stay focused without needing my constant nagging reminding.  the flip chart also creates opportunities for increased independence.  we are giving luca the chance to take charge of his needs.  this is a great benefit.

this tool is also super helpful for me.  it frees me up to care for the littler ones.  too much multi-tasking makes me a cranky and stretched too thin mama.  i am still part of the process though.  yes, he does need encouragement to empty the dishwasher every.single.morning.  (that is okay.  we have a deal that as long as he doesn't complain, he earns screen time for later in the day.)  i love that i have confidence we are not missing anything key in the midst of the busy mornings.

his favorite task
instead of him choosing his favorite tasks first, then drudging through the others with less energy and enthusiasm, we mix the enjoyable with the not so enjoyable.  when he is dressed and the bed is made, he gets to come eat breakfast.  after brushing his teeth, he gets to feed the hamster.  he empties the dishwasher, then therapeutic listening while building legos or drawing.

my hope is to make morning flip charts for both gia and enzo soon.  this is by no means an asperger's specific tool.  but it has been extremely useful for our luca boy and we expect to add flip charts for other times of day as well.

but let me not get ahead of myself.
it is time to stop and celebrate.
finding something that works is cause for celebration indeed!


~rachel~ said...

It's amazing how great these and picture schedules work for kids. I first heard of them when I was working in a program st a school with children with autism. But quickly realized how helpful they could be for my then 2 year old. He's almost 7 now and when he goes back to school next year I'll make him another for morning routine before school. Love this!

Peggy Witter said...

What a wonderful idea!  Thank you for sharing!!

Sarah{Handbags*N*Pigtails} said...

Great idea, I love this! 

Amy Knee said...

That's great!  (And in all fairness to Luca, I often need lots of encouragement to unload the dishwasher too!)

Linda Jamar said...

Definitely cause for celebration!  I am sharing this link with some of the families I work with (I am a a preschool inclusion teacher)---I do these at school regularly and often suggest them to families to help with home routines.  Yours are done so simply and nicely!

Mary_Krause said...

what a fantastic idea!  
love this.

mrsbrownCCA said...

This is an amazing idea! I am making some and printing them this weekend for a student of mine! I've never used picasa... so I'm in for an adventure. 

Melissa Lyons said...

This is so great! Wow! I am so glad your posted over at Leslie's blog and that I was brought here too!

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