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3 Basic Visual Supports for Young Kids with Behavioral Issues

Please note the rip, stomp and tear marks all over these support charts...remember, growth is never a straight line!

Many children who have limited ability to forecast future events due to executive functioning issues or anxiety find that the ability to preview upcoming daily events can lessen their stress level and as a result, improve their behavior. Here is an example of a weekly calendar where the events are largely repetitious but some events may occur at different times. I suggest making stacks of velcro cards with all the possible events and having the child put them on either daily or weekly depending on the child. You can make a page of events and have it laminated at Staples as a single unit, then cut them apart and put the hook and eye on the back.

This was SUPER helpful in my house.

Here is a version of an emotional regulation tracker.  It is based on "How Does Your Engine Run".  A tool frequently used in public schools and therapeutic environments to teach children basic identification of their own internal state as well as how to identify when they are getting beyond emotions they can control and eventually, what they can do about it.

It's a little hard to see here but the train is on velcro.  When a child is calm you ask them to place the train in the appropriate zone.  When they experience frustration but not so much that is boiling over, you ask again. Eventually the child will be able to predict getting into the "super mad zone" and you can try to plan methods to diffuse the situation or explain what happened if social skills deficits are the issue.

Here is a basic, visual chart to use with kids who need reminding about acceptable and unacceptable interactions. This is great tool to use when the child is calm and able to rationally process the information. Don't bother with this one in the middle of a meltdown.

Notice the teeth marks on the bottom right corner.  Don't forget to laminate the poster or your hard work could disappear in the flash of a chomp!

Be creative. You can tailor make any of these to suit the particular interest or age range. Good luck!

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