Using Calendars with a Preschooler with Visual Impairment
One day your child will record important dates, tasks, deadlines, and goals in a calendar or planner in order to remain organized and dependable. You can begin preparing for this necessary skill by exposure to an accessible calendar.
Your child can watch or listen as you record significant dates and appointments, and she can become involved as she places meaningful, tactile stickers, real objects, pictures, or braille labels on important dates. She can listen as you read the activities for the day or upcoming week.
What are the benefits of incorporating a calendar system?
- Learning concepts of years, months, weeks, and days
- Learning concepts of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
- Recording important events and appointments.
- Reviewing the calendar every day.
- Preparing for what is on the schedule for the day.
- Developing organizational skills.
- Learning methods that will one day increase her independence and dependability.
- Acquiring a skill necessary for maintaining employment.
If your child has additional disabilities, she may appreciate a more thorough calendar. You may wish to list nearly all of her routine activities on her daily calendar.
If the representation for each activity is meaningful to your child (a toothbrush indicating it is time to brush her teeth, a spoon for mealtime, a small book for reading time, and a seat belt buckle indicating a car ride), she now has a method for understanding what to expect each day. To learn more about using a calendar system for children with multiple disabilities, read “Using a Schedule with Your Child Who Is Visually Impaired and Has Multiple Disabilities.”
The American Foundation for the Blind CareerConnect has blog posts on “Basics Behind Maintaining Employment as an Individual Who Is Blind or Visually Impaired” and “How to Improve Your Organizational Skills,” which may add to your understanding of the importance of organization and calendar use for a person who is visually impaired.