• GETTING READY IN THE MORNING

     

    Executive Skills Needed: 1. Task Initiation, 2. Sustained attention, 3. Working memory.

    Steps to take:

    1. Sit down with your child and together make a list of things to be done before leaving for school n the morning (or just starting the day for younger kids).
    2. Decide together the order in which the tasks should be done.
    3. Turn the list into a checklist (The checklists that follow are just samples; you can use them as is or just as a model, with your own tasks listed in the left column.)
    4. Make multiple copies and attach them to a clipboard.
    5. Talk through with your child how the process will work from the moment the child wakes up. Explain that in the beginning you will cue your child to do each item on the list and that he/she will check off each item as it is completed.
    6. Rehearse or role-play the process so that your child understands how it will work—that is, walk though each step, with the child pretending to do each step and check it off.
    7. Determine what time the whole routine should be finished in order to get to school on time (or in order to have some time to play before going to school or to get to whatever the child need to do).
    8. Put the system to work. Initially you should cue your child to begin the first step, watch as he/she does the steps prompt to check off the step on the checklist, praise the child for completing each step, and cue your child to do the next step. Continue the process with supervision until the entire routine is completed.
    9. One the child has internalized the process and is able to complete the routine independently within time constraints, the checklist can be faded.

     

    Fading the supervision:  First, cue your child to begin and supervise throughout the routine, providing frequent praise and encouragement as well as constructive feedback. Next, cue your child to begin, make sure he/she starts each step, and then go away and come back for the next step. Then, cue your child to begin, check on him/her intermittently (every two steps, then every three steps, etc.). Last, cue your child to begin and  have him/her check in with you at the end.

    Modifications/Adjustments:   If necessary, add a reinforcer for completing the process on time or with minimal reminders. Or give the child a point for each step in the process completed with minimal reminders (agree on how many reminders will be permissible for the child to earn the point). Second, set a kitchen timer—or have the child set the timer—at the beginning of each step and challenge the child to complete the step before the timer rings. Third, adjust the timer or the schedule as needed—for example, wake the child up earlier or see if there are any items on the list that can be dropped or done the night before. Fourth, rather than making a checklist, write each task on a separate index card and have the child hand in the card and get a new one as each step is completed. Fifth, for younger children, use pictures rather than words, keep the list short, and assume that you’ll need to continue to cue the child. Last, the same approach can be adapted for children who need help specifically with making sure they’re taking everything to school that they need. A sample checklist for this is also provided.

     

    Dawson, P., & Guare, R. (2009). Smart but Scattered. New York: The Guilford  Press. P. 132-133.

    MORNING ROUTINE CHECKLIST

     

    Task

    # Reminders (Tally Marks)

    Done

    (Check)

     

    Get up

     

     

     

    Get dressed

     

     

     

    Eat breakfast

     

     

     

    Put dishes in the dishwasher

     

     

     

    Brush teeth

     

     

     

    Brush hair

     

     

     

    Get backpack ready for school

     

     

     

    Other

     

     

     

    Other

     

     

     

     

    From Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.  Copyright 2009 by The Guilford Press. P. 134.

    GETTING READY IN THE MORNING

     

    Executive Skills Needed: 1. Task Initiation, 2. Sustained attention, 3. Working memory.

    Steps to take:

    1. Sit down with your child and together make a list of things to be done before leaving for school in the morning (or just starting the day for younger kids).
    2. Decide together the order in which the tasks should be done.
    3. Turn the list into a checklist (The checklists that follow are just samples; you can use them as is or just as a model, with your own tasks listed in the left column.)
    4. Make multiple copies and attach them to a clipboard.
    5. Talk through with your child how the process will work from the moment the child wakes up. Explain that in the beginning you will cue your child to do each item on the list and that he/she will check off each item as it is completed.
    6. Rehearse or role-play the process so that your child understands how it will work—that is, walk though each step, with the child pretending to do each step and check it off.
    7. Determine what time the whole routine should be finished in order to get to school on time (or in order to have some time to play before going to school or to get to whatever the child needs to do).
    8. Put the system to work. Initially you should cue your child to begin the first step, watch as he/she does the steps, prompt to check off the step on the checklist, praise the child for completing each step, and cue your child to do the next step. Continue the process with supervision until the entire routine is completed.
    9. Once the child has internalized the process and is able to complete the routine independently within time constraints; the checklist can be faded.

     

    Fading the supervision:  First, cue your child to begin and supervise throughout the routine, providing frequent praise and encouragement as well as constructive feedback. Next, cue your child to begin, make sure he/she starts each step, and then go away and come back for the next step. Then, cue your child to begin, check on him/her intermittently (every two steps, then every three steps, etc.). Last, cue your child to begin and have him/her check in with you at the end.

    Modifications/Adjustments:   If necessary, add a reinforcer for completing the process on time or with minimal reminders. Or give the child a point for each step in the process completed with minimal reminders (agree on how many reminders will be permissible for the child to earn the point). Second, set a kitchen timer—or have the child set the timer—at the beginning of each step and challenge the child to complete the step before the timer rings. Third, adjust the timer or the schedule as needed—for example, wake the child up earlier or see if there are any items on the list that can be dropped or done the night before. Fourth, rather than making a checklist, write each task on a separate index card and have the child hand in the card and get a new one as each step is completed. Fifth, for younger children, use pictures rather than words, keep the list short, and assume that you’ll need to continue to cue the child. Last, the same approach can be adapted for children who need help specifically with making sure they’re taking everything to school that they need. A sample checklist for this is also provided.

     

    Dawson, P., & Guare, R. (2009). Smart but Scattered. New York: The Guilford  Press. P. 132-133.

    MORNING ROUTINE CHECKLIST

     

    Task

    # Reminders (Tally Marks)

    Done

    (Check)

     

    Get up

     

     

     

    Get dressed

     

     

     

    Eat breakfast

     

     

     

    Put dishes in the dishwasher

     

     

     

    Brush teeth

     

     

     

    Brush hair

     

     

     

    Get backpack ready for school

     

     

     

    Other

     

     

     

    Other

     

     

     

     

    From Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.  Copyright 2009 by The Guilford Press. P. 161.

    GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL CHECKLIST

     

    Task

    Done (check)

     

    All homework completed

     

     

    All homework in appropriate place

     

    Items to go to school

    Placed in backpack (check)

     

    Homework

     

     

     

    Notebooks/folders

     

     

    Textbooks

     

     

    Silent reading book

     

     

    Permission slips

     

     

    Lunch and/or Lunch money

     

     

    Sports/P.E. clothes/equipment

     

     

    Notes for teacher/front office

     

     

    Assignment book

     

     

    Other:

     

     

    Other:

     

     

    From Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.  Copyright 2009 by The Guilford Press. P. 139.