Let’s get ready! Four things to help your morning routine go smoothly

Getting ready in the morning can be a tricky task, especially when you have a child who is neurodiverse. Here are four key resources that could help your morning routine.

A timer

‘Time timers’ offer a visual countdown so that children can easily see how much time is left. These timers come in a range of durations (120min, 60min, 20min, 5min) so that you can find one that best fits your needs. When the time is up, the timer produces a repetitive beep, but with the addition of a volume dial on the back, you can adjust it to your taste.

Alternatively, any kitchen timer will work, but it can be difficult for children to tell how much time is left if they aren’t up to reading numbers and associating it with time.

Try setting a timer 30 minutes before you need to leave. When the timer goes off, it’s time to leave! The visual countdown will (hopefully) help you and your child/ren stay on track!


Visuals don’t have to be ones from board maker or a therapist (which can be a costly investment). Try using clip art, photos, or simple drawings to represent activities or tasks completed every day.

For example, a toothbrush, clothes, and shoes are all simple to draw to make a sequence of tasks that are needed to get ready before leaving the house each morning

A visual schedule

What are the tasks your child needs to do before you leave? For most families, these tasks would include:

  • eat breakfast
  • brush teeth
  • brush hair
  • get dressed
  • shoes on
  • pack lunch/snack

Arrange these visuals in a line, like a checklist. Once complete, take the visuals off and put them in…

A ‘finish’ box

The visual sign for ‘finish’ is a black and white checkerboard (like a chessboard or a finish flag for a race). Find an old shoebox and cover it with black and white checkboard and cut a hole in the top big enough to post your visuals through. Then, as your child finishes a task, slot the visual into the finish box.

Have these four resources helped you with your morning routine? Or are you still having trouble? We would love to hear! Leave a comment or email us at sami@allegroeducation.com.au

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