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Lunch and Learn Review April 2016

Despite the rain, many families attended the Lunch and Learn held on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at Including Kids on the topic of Activity Schedules.  The workshop was led by InKids Case Manager Allison Day, M.Ed. Lunch & Learn workshops are often a favorite of parents due to the casual and intimate atmosphere (registration is limited to 12-15 participants typically) and the free lunch!

Activity Schedules for Children with Autism BookActivity schedules are excellent tools to use with children and adults on the spectrum. Some of the benefits Allison discussed were helping students with transitions, promoting independence, and the option of using the schedules across various settings and environments. Activity schedules can be helpful during unstructured times such as recess and P.E. at school, when encouraging independence with self-help skills, leisure skills and daily routines.

Some of the prerequisite skills necessary for a student to engage in an activity schedule that were discussed include picture to object correspondence, mastered tasks, and accepting physical guidance, to name a few. Parents watched videos on selecting appropriate tasks, setting up the workspace, identifying rewards and teaching the schedule to a child. Variations for beginner learners were discussed, such as using First, Then visuals as well as variations for advanced learners, such as self-monitoring.

Parents had the opportunity to share their own experiences and challenges with implementing activity schedules at home. Some of the questions Allison answered for parents included how to chain steps together into a longer schedule, how to keep a child on task and how to make sure motivation is high while completing the schedules.

At the end of the Lunch and Learn, Allison raffled off the book Activity Schedules for Children with Autism by Lynn E. McClannahan to one lucky parent. Including Kids provides parent training on a consultation basis as well as Focused Intervention services on a part-time basis to help parents learn to implement a variety of strategies including setting up an activity schedule at home. If interested in these types of services and/or if interested in receiving emails regarding registration for these types of free events, please contact outreach@includingkids.org.