Schedules and CVI: Visually Appropriate Schedules for Children with Cortical Visual Impairment
Schedules have so many benefits for all children, but especially students with CVI. Schedules help students transition with success. This is because schedules allow for predictability and can help reduce anxiety. I also love schedules because they allow for students to be an active participant in their day, regardless of ability level. Students can gaze or point to items on their schedule. Students can remove images/items from their schedule. Students can also gather materials, turn pages, and so much more! There are a variety of schedules that can be beneficial for students with CVI. Below, I share my top three ideas for schedules and CVI. With all of these schedules, I recommend using large, high-contrast images or physical items. In addition, all of these schedules are small enough that they can travel with the child.
Schedules and CVI Option One: Binder Schedules
Binder schedules are one of my favorite because they allow for so much variety and individualized modifications. Binder schedules can be housed in full-size binders or mini-binders. In addition, you can place multiple schedule items on a page, or just one. For students just starting out with schedules, I recommend putting a single image/item on each page and working up from there. Another tip for making binder schedules less overwhelming is having an AM/morning binder and a PM/afternoon binder. For children using a schedule at home, having an evening binder can also be beneficial. In addition, regardless of the phase that your child or student is at, binder schedules are beneficial, as objects or 2-D images can be used.
Option Two: First/then Schedules
Did you know that you can use first/then boards as a type of schedule as well as an earn board? Instead of putting a work task and then an earn on the board, you can set it up as “first, brush teeth” “then, take a bath.” First/then schedules are visually beneficial because they limit the images or objects in front of the child to only two. First/then schedules are also less overwhelming because there are only two activities in front of them, rather than the entire day. For this type of schedule, there aren’t pages or checklists to flip. This type of schedule typically requires adult involvement to continue to update the schedule as the child moves through the activities. In addition, if the child has the fine motor capabilities, they can assist in helping take the images off the board as they complete them.
Schedules and CVI Option Three: Checklist
Checklist schedules are slightly more advanced, as they typically only use 2-D images, rather than having a 3-D object option. Checklist schedules are beneficial as you can control the visual complexity. Also, there are different ways to use them. One way is for all three images to be visible. Then, as a student completes an activity, they “check” it off by closing the flap. (This is the “typical” way they are used.) However, if this is too visually complex, the student can keep all the schedule images covered and just uncover the schedule item they are currently working on!
Do you need to add tactile cues to your student’s schedule? Check out my blog post on My Favorite Textured Materials for CVI.
Also, if you are looking to trial CVI-friendly materials in your classroom, check out this CVI Centers Sampler for FREE!
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