Autism Note: Look for Animals in the Backyard

Write it on an autism note or on a list of things to do.

Look for animals in the back yard?
There’s an explanation.
Read on. . . .

Do you download your brain?
Here’s what I do.
First thing in the morning (or even better the night before) I do a “brain dump.” I write down everything that needs to be done for the day. Call someone. Schedule an appointment. Write a blog post. Whatever it is, it goes on the list.

This helps to clear my brain.
But here’s the best part. I get to cross things off the list when they are completed. Oh, that feels good. In fact, I’ve been known to write more on the list so I have more to cross off.

Is this a visual strategy?
Of course it is. That list is a visual tool that keeps me on track so that by the end of the day I’ve accomplished the necessities. But it also provides a wonderful sense of satisfaction every time I cross something off, producing far less calories than a hot fudge sundae.

There’s power in the “to do” list
That’s why I made one when granddaughter spent the night. “Nana’s Taxi Service” had to transport her to an early hockey game in the morning. Problem is, I knew she would need some structure in the morning to get up and ready and out the door on time. So, I pulled out some paper and we created the list together.

If you look carefully you’ll see that #3 says “Look for animals in the back yard.” If you have been following my Facebook posts, you know that I have lots of deer and wild turkeys in the woods behind my house. Grandkids love to watch (instead of getting ready).

Are you following my logic?
She watched. She checked it off. She did the rest of the things on the list. We got to hockey game on time. It worked.

Here’s something I know
Visual strategies work. And they don’t have to take a lot of time. I realize that using visual supports for kids is so easy for me because I do it for myself. It’s intuitive for me.

Just like sports or music or art. Some of us are “naturals.” We don’t even have to think about it, we can just do it. Then there are others who are “learners” who need to acquire skills in a more structured and purposeful way.

Which group are you in (for visual strategies)?
It doesn’t matter. Each group can accomplish great goals. But identifying which one you are can help you understand what you need to do to achieve your goals.

Just some food for thought. Let me know what you think.

P.S. Just to be clear. . . . I’ve tried tennis, golf, skiing and sailing among other sporting activities. And I am definitely NOT a natural athlete. But I’ve learned to compensate by making sure to get really cute outfits.

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