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Articles by ABCs for Life Success Consultants



"Break in Communication:  When an Advocate is Needed" – from Parenting for High Potential, March 2008, and republished in Parenting Gifted Children: The Authoritative Guide from the National Association of Gifted Children. Download as pdf.


"Use of Visual Schedules for Students with Autism" - by Paul Livelli, Ph. D.

Break in Communication pg 1

Break in Communication pg 2


Break in Communication pg 3

Break in Communication pg 4


Break in Communication pg 5



Use of Visual Schedules for Students with Autism

by Paul Livelli, Ph.D.


Typically children with autism respond extremely well to visual schedules, which help make an often complex world more understandable. We all use planner/calendars, recipes, shopping lists, and other visual supports on a daily basis. For children with autism who have difficulty with communication, visual supports are even more vital to their success.


Consistent daily use of an individualized visual schedule will increase a child’s organization skills and independent functioning throughout all aspects of his life and will ease transition through adulthood. A visual schedule will give the child information about what is currently happening; what is coming up next (the sequence of events); when they are “all done” with something; and/or any changes that might occur. The information given to the child through a visual mode is extremely critical in helping him to understand the day’s events and their sequence—which can certainly help to reduce stress and unwanted behaviors.


Visual schedules are as important for the child to use at school as at home.  Each child’s individual needs and abilities should be considered in designing his or her own personal visual schedule, which can be presented in any one of numerous ways, such as object schedule, 3-ring binder schedule, clipboard schedule, manila file folder schedule, dry erase board schedule or other.  Various social interactions can be included in the child’s daily schedule as well as building in a balance of high stress (non-preferred) and low stress (preferred) activities.


Schedules are often extremely useful in helping a student with autism navigate his or her world.  Consider using them in your homes and please check and see that their school programs are incorporating them as an intervention strategy as well.


This article appeared in the December 2010 ABCs for Life Success email newsletter.