Having Routines for Your Special Needs Children | Salma Safira Sukma from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Having Routines for Your Special Needs Children

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A routine is a sequence of activities which we follow regularly, either daily such as getting ready for bed, brushing teeth, taking a shower, or occasionally like going to the park and shopping. Having a routine is good for children with special needs. It helps them to predict or see what is coming and recognize what they should do as well as when to do it. Following routines makes your days organized and more importantly it gives consistency, security, and a sense of safety and calm for your children. 

Routines are helpful for your children to learn new skills and improve their independence. For instance, you can teach your child about communication skills by asking them to talk about their friends at school during dinner time. If your child needs to follow certain medical procedures, routines can be helpful as a reminder and keep your child on track. Furthermore, problem behaviors are less likely to occur when children have predictable routines because they will know what to expect and prevent them from feeling anxious or frustrated. 

Thinking about routines will also help your children to develop cognitive strategies to build their world. Following a routine does not mean that your children have no opportunity to say what they want to do. Instead, providing choices is important within a schedule of routines so your children still have a sense of control over their day. For example, when it is time for your child to go to bed, you can let them choose which pajamas they want to wear and if the routine includes bedtime stories, allow them to decide what story or book they want you to read. 

A good routine should be well planned, clear, and easy to understand, so all of your family members know their role and what they have to do in the routine. It should also be a regular thing which is incorporated in your everyday family life. For your special needs children, it is also important to keep things specific by breaking down activities into simple and concrete tasks. Moreover, a routine has to be predictable which means you should make sure that things happen in the same order every time. It is also important to incorporate other family member’s routines into your child’s schedule, so they will not interrupt each other.

Following routines for children with disabilities can be a challenge, but it can be easier if they are provided with the right support and help. This can include giving simple cues like vocally reminding your child to make their bed or softly touching your child’s hand to remind them to wash their hands. Another way to assist your children is using visual support, such as visual schedules which have been found to be effective for children with disabilities. By using visual schedules and based on your child’s age and ability, you can show the routines of a specific activity or a full day routine. You can display visual schedules on the fridge, bedroom door, or wall where it will be easy for your children to see.

 

References:

Demchak, M., & Sutter, C. (2020, June 30). Creating structure at home for children with disabilities. Nevada Today. https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2020/atp-creating-home-structure

National Council for Special Education. (n.d.). Promoting learning and positive behaviour at home: Home routines for children and young people with additional needs. https://ncse.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/NCSE-Resource-2-Home-Routines.pdf

Routines and children with disability, autism or other additional needs. (2021, December 18). Raising Children Network Australia. Retrieved August 2, 2022 from https://raisingchildren.net.au/disability/family-life/family-management/routines-disability

Salmin, A. K. (2010). Engaging young children in thinking routines. Childhood Education, 86(3), 132-137. https://doi.org/10.1080/00094056.2010.10523133 

 

By: Salma Safira Sukma Ikhsani, S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS Center

family, routines, special needs children

Special Needs / Berkebutuhan Khusus / Parenting / Pola Asuh / Family / Keluarga / Having Routines for Your Special Needs Children

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