The magic of visual schedules!

by Noor Khatam, Bahrain

Hi all!

In this blog I just want to write this sentence in bold “I love visual schedules! “

Who does that too?

Come on let’s show some love and appreciation to visual schedules and talk about how helpful they can be in speech and language therapy!

Visual schedules are one of the effective techniques that I have been using with all my clients. It led to successful outcomes regardless of the target of using them.

How do I do it?

  • I print out a A4 paper with two columns (plan or to do list) column and a (completed) column.
  • Depending on the session activities, I will print out symbols of the activities either from google or taking a picture of the activity/ toy and print it out. Sometimes, I will take a picture of the child and I while doing an activity and print it out! Especially in articulation drills activities.
  • Definitely, I have them laminated and use a Velcro dots to make it easy for the child to take items off.
  • The complexity of the schedule depends on the child’s attention and comprehension skills. I usually starts with two activities or I will use (first, Then) format in the beginning and I will gradually increase it to 3 – 4 activities. After every activity, the child is asked to take off the picture from the plan column and stick it in the completed column. I know it always feel comfortable when we stick tasks in the completed column “a round of applause for all achievers who are reading this”.


Let’s talk about their benefits:


  • Narration skills: I always use visual schedules when I am working on narration skills. At the end of every session, I will go throughout the visual schedule and I will start narrating what we did today while pointing on the pictures. I usually follow this pyramid to encourage my kids to start narrating.
  • It helps a lot with kids facing difficulty in transitioning between activities and it helps in ending activities appropriately.
  • It also helps frustrated or stressed kids to relax when they are able to see our session schedule and know what is expected from them.

One of the lovely things that happened was when my three-year-old toddler felt happy and excited about moving the last picture from the (to do tasks) to (completed) tasks and she said loudly (it’s time to go for mummy). Furthermore, some of my kids feel happy that they learn a new word which is (schedule). They will keep asking me (do we check the schedule?).

I always encourage the parents and the teachers that I am working with, to start using visual schedules at home and in the classroom.

Don’t miss using the visual schedules in your sessions and have fun with your kids. Below is an example of visual schedule you can go ahead and print it out.