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For people with Down syndrome, family members, caregivers and professionals.

Individualized Visual Schedules

July 2022 | Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist, Adult Down Syndrome Center

Visuals tend to be most effective when they are individualized. What works for one person may be different than what works for another person. Schedules are one example of a type of visual that may vary considerably from person to person. Schedules can help manage expectations, provide reminders, and make transitions smoother.

The image below is one day of a summer camp schedule. It was created in Microsoft Excel and showed all the days of the summer camp on one page when it was printed.


The next image below is another example of the same day of the summer camp schedule. It was created using a program called Boardmaker and each day of the summer camp was on its own page when the schedule was printed. This type of schedule may be helpful for someone who is more concerned with the order of events in the day than the times at which events will take place.


This image is yet another example of the same day of the summer camp schedule. It was created using a calendar app on a smartphone. This schedule is easy to take on the go and can be set up with alerts that help an individual anticipate transitions. There are many visual schedule apps available for smartphones and tablets. 


The last image is an example of a schedule written out on a sticky note. This might be helpful for someone who wants to take a glance at the schedule at the beginning of the day but does not need to refer to it throughout the day.


Other schedule options include date books and monthly, weekly, and/or daily calendars. They can use pictures, Velcro (to remove activities after they are completed), check boxes, etc.

To learn more about visuals, please see our Use of Visual Supports article in our Resource Library.

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Please note: The information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for a medical, psychiatric, mental health, or behavioral evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment plan by a qualified professional. We recommend you review the educational material with your health providers regarding the specifics of your health care needs.