Saturday, August 2, 2008

Update: My First Picture Schedule

I've had a few requests asking for an update on our Picture Schedule. The next couple of days after the original post were still rough. The first step was to get Jackson to understand that when he found the picture of Dora at the end of his schedule, he would get a Special Treat. After two or three days of receiving Special Treats, we explained to him that if we had to put him in time-out during the Picture Schedule, he would not get a Special Treat. After that, it was pretty much smooth sailing. During days 3-5, we had to tell him a few times, "you can either put your shirt on, or go to time-out. Remember, if you go to time-out during your pictures, no special treat."

Since day 5, he's been doing awesome. He pulls his pictures off himself and tells me what we are doing next. After about a week and half, he started waking up in the morning and spontaneously asking to use the pictures. Toddlers love to have a sense of control, and the picture schedule has given this to him.

This intervention might sound like a lot of work, but if you have enough technical skills to follow a blog, you can definitely pull this off with very little effort. Basically, you grab your digital camera and run around the house taking pictures. Then you upload them to the computer and print them on photo paper using the "wallet sized" photo setting (8 print on a page using this setting, so you really don't have to waste a ton of paper). You could laminate them if you are really motivated, but I find the photo paper is fairly sturdy, and you can always print another one if you need to. Then you go to Wal-mart in the sewing section and grab a roll of plain old velcro (no super duper sticking stuff - it should be fairly easy for little hands to take apart). Cut half the velcro into little squares and stick it to the back of the pictures, and put a strip of the other half on a piece of cardboard. Viola - picture schedule in ten minutes or less. And let me tell you, it is ten minutes well spent. The time for our morning routine has dropped to less than ten minutes, and we are all much happier in the mornings now.

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