Most people prefer their environments to be stable and consistent along with their daily activities to be routine and predictable. Though, we know that change is inevitable and we have the tools and skills to accommodate such changes in our lives.
For most individuals with ASD, unexpected changes in routines and environments can be extremely difficult usually causing severe anxiety, which can be emotionally and physically painful. With such heightened sensitivities to change, caregivers must always plan ahead if changes are expected to daily routines and environments.
Visual schedules are great tools that takes into consideration an individuals sensitivity to change. It visually illustrates the various activities and/or tasks that will be presented. This visual illustration gives a sense of structure and order, and presents a clear sense of what is expected and what is to come. You could use visual schedules to structure a 30 minute learning session or give a picture by picture illustration of what to expect when visiting the dentist. A visual schedules can be an incredibly flexible tool that you can make as broad or specific as you like.
Check out the following video to get a better sense of visual schedules and how you can incorporate them into your daily life.
Also, here is a wonderful resource on how to create your own visual schedule by Hands In Autism : http://www.handsinautism.org/pdf/How_To_Visual_Schedules.pdf