Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Photo Routine Chart

I have three kids.
So I need routine.
Without routine, I have three kids and a whole lot of chaos.
As a result I am a bit of a drill sargent in the morning.  And that isn't fun for anyone.  I found myself constantly reminding, over and over.  Frustrated.  Yelling.  Talking to walls, for what they heard from me. 

Alexis, having ASD, means she requires a lot of direction, reminding and assistance in completing tasks.  Directions must be simple, one thing at a time, broken down bit-by-bit.  Despite doing the same thing every day since the beginning of last year, she still required me to prompt her to go and get dressed, or brush teeth, or put on shoes.  So it was time for a routine board - as recommended by her psychologist.

I lived on Pinterest for a few days, mulling over what would be an affective system for Lexi and came across this awesome post: DIY Chore Chart (My Sisters Suitcase)

Lexi is a visual child, and so doing a photo chore chart, where she featured was going to work best.  I made one for Zavian also, where he features in his photos.  I thought this would be more fun for them, seeing pictures of themselves that they could really relate to, instead of just using random cartoon pics from the internet.  It also made it easier to include things like "Feed Saffron" using a picture of her, or for Zavian turning off his special star light.

I purchased a great magnetic board that had a little box at the bottom, that would become the 'finished' box.  These were on sale for $10 (from $20) each at Big W (Oh yeah, I totally went and bought 3...  A normal white board would work as well, which was my original plan.  I decided against gluing picture to magnets and found some magnetic paper from Officeworks for $23.80 (5 sheets).  I printed the pictures at home, using my very basic printer, using 2 sheets.  I took all of the photos on my phone and edited them to add the border and text using the "A Beautiful Mess" app.  I used that because I already had it on my phone.  Any app that adds font will work.  To make printing easier, I used the PDF layout that is in the link from above linked My Sisters Suitcase post.

I took photos of the things they kids do each morning as part of their routine.  Even
though they can't read, they can see very clearly what they need to do.

Magnetic photos are easy to remove for the kids.

The completed charts hang.  These are now hanging in our entry way.

Using a visual reminder is a good way for Lexi to understand what comes next.

The finished box allows them to keep track of what is left to complete.

Lexi enjoys removing the tasks she has completed.

Our reward system is simple - 1 gem for each finished morning routine.
A chosen amount of gems will equal a reward.

So far, with implementing the chart, mornings are a much quieter affair.  Less yelling, nagging and frustration from me.  The kids are finding it to be a bit of a game, especially to see who finishes first.  Lexi will follow the chart one task at a time in the order that they are on there.  Zavian puts more thought in to it and will do whatever is easiest to what he is doing.  Eg once he is dressed and his pjs are off, he puts them straight under his pillow and makes his bed, then will remove all 4 of those tasks.

The reward system at the moment is that they will receive a reward after 5 gems are earned.  These will be something basic, like an ice cream or a chocolate.  Nothing too big.  Once they are used to that, we will then move on to allowing them to cash in 5, or to save (for example) 15 to cash in for a bigger prize.  I purchased the gems from the garden section of our local cheapy shop, as well as the glass jars.  The jars are only little, and Lexi also uses one at school as a rewards system (she receives a "prize" for filling the jar).  

I strongly recommend every one puts something like this in place!  It is a godsend on a school morning!!  The next step is to implement our afternoon/evening routine in to the chart as well.  Whilst that is no where near as chaotic as our mornings, it would certainly have its place!

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