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Time Management Tools for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Moving into middle school and high school can be a difficult challenge for all student.  Parents and teaches expect more independence, better organization and self-motivation from student.  Students also have the added difficulty of having multiple teachers, changing classrooms and lockers.  These skills can be especially challenging for students who have ASD who often struggle more with executive functioning.  Implementing some organization strategies may be helpful to assist students with ASD in their transition to higher level grades.

·         Google drive: Google dive allows student to keep assignments all in one location.  Students can work on various projects within google drive, it automatically saves, documents can be shared with teachers and students can access google drive on any device that is able to be connected to the internet.  Having everything in one place helps to reduce losing assignments.  It is also helpful that teachers can check in on a student’s progress and provide feedback as needed.

·         Planners:  planners are often helpful to keep track of due dates.  Planners can either be a physical planner (often given to students by the school) or an electronic planner.

·         Checklists:  Some students find it helpful if they can see exact steps needed to complete projects.  Students can check off what they complete and have a visual of what they still need to finish.  Breaking down tasks into small portions can relieve feelings of being overwhelmed with weekly workloads.  Also checking off completed tasks can be rewarding.  Again, checklist could either by physical or electronic.

·         Backpacks: Backpacks can provide a physical place to keep all items needed for school.  If students practice putting everything into their backpack they are less likely to lose items.  Daily or weekly backpack checks can be conducted to help locate items and organize.

·         Timers: Students can often lose track of time or be unaware as to how much time different assignments may take.  Using a timer helps them set appropriate amounts of time to complete tasks, keeps them focused and reduces distraction.  It is also a good method to work in breaks for longer assignments.  

·         Post-it notes: large amounts of reading required can be difficult to tackle.  Breaking down reading assignments into segments by using post-it notes give students a visual as to how much they need to read per day instead of focusing on the entire text. 

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