Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Fun Visual Aid to Make Mornings Easier

Greetings!  In preparation to make a presentation on "Visual Aids in the Home," I came across a creative idea, adapted it for our purposes, and shared it on Instagram.  It got so much positive feedback that I decided to share it on the blog.

Blog followers know that we use many visual aids around the house to help Josie and Leanne understand plans and expectations, to support proper completion of a task, and most importantly, to promote independence.  Here are a couple of past posts on the topic:

 It's quite simple.  1.  Purchase a pill box 2.  Label it with the desired tasks 3. Fill it with a reward

This pill box came from The Dollar Tree. It cost - you guessed it - one dollar.
 After measuring the pill box, a table was made using Microsoft Publisher to create a label to fit  each opening.  Each label features a different step of Josie's morning routine.  Labels were printed, laminated, and adhered to the top of each door on the pill box.  
 Inside the openings, I placed a single M&M.  When Josie completes each task, she earns an M&M.  It's a way of providing frequent reinforcement to keep Josie moving in the morning.  If seven M&M's prevent protests, flopping, raised voices, mom's back breaking, tears, and A.M. wine consumption, then it's totally worth it.  Am I right?!
The pill box doesn't have to be filled with sugar.  Candy can be substituted with any small object that will be reinforcing for a child.  Heck, if your child is motivated by peas, by all means - try it!  Or the child can earn "tokens" towards a larger reward of his/her choosing (prize from the "prize bag," dance party, ipad time, etc).  This is known as a token economy.  

There are countless ways to make a visual aid to serve this purpose.  The pill box is advantageous because it's inexpensive, easy, compact, portable, and perfect for a child who requires frequent reinforcements.  

It's also easy to fade.  After the child successfully completes the task for a 1:1 reward, you can have the child complete 2 tasks for a reward, then 3 tasks for a reward, and so on...

Click HERE to download the labels we use.


  1. Love your visual aids! PS Leanne is absolutely gorgeous in that pic! I wish I could get my hair to do that!

  2. This is obviously such a good idea, thank you for sharing!
    I enjoy reading your blog posts very much. Hope, you are all doing well, I know the time around Christmas can be extra tough after a recent loss. Big hugs.