Home » Chapter 4: The FASD Student & the Classroom » Use a Consistent Routine

Use a Consistent Routine

Routine should be emphasized for the FASD student. A highly consistent routine allows students to understand and predict their day. FASD students have difficulty with cause-and-effect, generalizing, and information processing. Often, these students worry about what is happening next, and they are concerned that they won’t know what to do. The familiar routine alleviates these concerns and assists the students in predicting outcomes. The consistent routine also enhances positive behavior. In this safe environment, students are better able to focus on learning. Change is known to be difficult and frustrating for these students, and it should be avoided when possible or prepared for when necessary.

Keep Consistent Class Routines

Assign seats

  • Keep these constant throughout the year

Post and review the daily schedule

  • Keep the schedule predictable and consistent
  • Activities should occur the same time each day
  • Provide students with a linear clock (see Chapter 5), highlighting activities and times
  • Discuss the schedule each morning—involve students in a positive discussion of what will be happening and when it will occur
  • Review the schedule at the end of each day, discuss what they did that day

Provide routines throughout the day

  • Before school begins
  • Beginning of the day
  • Recess
  • Choice times
  • Lunch time
  • End of the day

Assist Students with Transitions

Prepare students ahead of time for transitions/changes from the schedule

  • Post any major changes on the daily schedule
  • Use a calm, quiet voice
  • Recognize the following types of transitions or changes in routine can cause difficulty
    • New student joins classroom
    • Substitute teacher
    • School vacation or holiday
    • Mondays and Fridays
    • New classroom
    • Switching subjects
    • Switching classes
    • Learning a new skillbell
  • Provide a signal to let students know a transition is coming
    • Tap their shoulder
    • Ring a bell
    • Use a xylophone
    • Turn the light switch on and off
  • Tell them a transition is coming
    • (“The lunch bell is going to ring soon. You need to put away your books now.”)
  • Supervise transitions so they will go smoothly