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One of the strategies that we use to help kids participate at Sense Rugby is a visual schedule. We use visual schedules across many of our programs as it helps kids who experience anxiety or find it hard to keep on track. The schedules don’t often need to be anything fancy, the one we use at rugby is a small white board with pictures of each activity blue tacked on in order. When we go on camps the therapist hand draw each activity on a whiteboard, or get one of our more creative campers to do it for us!

Here are 4 reasons why we use a visual schedule in rugby:

  1. Let everyone know what is expected and what we will be doing for the session; this is great for kids who are not sure of what is expected of them or get anxious when they don’t know what is going to happen. At the start of the session we all sit down and go over the session. Then in between activities we use the schedule to reference where we are up to.
  2. Helps to keep kids on track; if they are getting off track, such as wandering away from the group or doing something that is different to the group, then we take over the schedule and show them where we are at. It also helps to keep the adults on track too! It is often that we have a plan that we haven’t communicated with kids so it is a great way to keep those channels of communication open.
  3. It lets kids know how much is left to do; for those kids that find it hard to stay focused for the whole time then at least they know how much longer they need to stay on task for. After each activity we turn over the pictures to help kids keep track of what ones we have already done.
  4. If time is running short or something needs to change, then it allows for a visual way to have that discussion. If we need to move something around then we can show the group on the whiteboard what the rest of the session will look like. This is really helpful for kids who find change difficult.

Perhaps consider how you might use a visual schedule to support your child to participate in an activity? Whether it be at school or to get through homework in the evening. Making sure it is detailed and broken down step by step helps kids to feel like they are achieving something which can motivate to keep going.