My Restaurant Schedule is designed to assist a high-needs, active child (e.g., moderate-severe autism or ADD/ADHD) when he or she eats a meal at a restaurant. There are step-by-step behavioral tasks that the child must complete in order to earn a “check” or a circle around a favorite image (an example sheet is included with a column of green dinosaurs). The steps are very detailed and repetitive, such as “Stay in your seat,” then “Open your menu and choose your food,” then “Stay in your seat” again as a constant reminder. The bottom of the sheet has an area to calculate how many checks/circled images the child earned or needs to earn to receive a specific reward (e.g., watch a favorite movie, play a video game, etc.).
Inspiration: A child with autism was receiving speech-language therapy, which included visits to places in the community to practice following directions (“Stay with Mommy.”) and interactions (“Coke, please”). We laminated the restaurant schedule that has a column of green dinosaurs and brought a dry-erase marker to the restaurant. Every step of the way, we used the schedule to remind the boy to attend, stay, use words, etc. We told him that if he earned X number of dinosaurs, he would receive the reward (a small toy). This reward was written at the bottom of the page.
Target Group: This schedule is specifically for use during restaurant visits. The steps of the schedule will promote attention, patience, listening skills, and social interactions during this routine experience. Students with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s, other speech or language disorders, or other developmental delays or disabilities will benefit from the step-by-step guide, particularly those who tend to wander, run off, or become upset during restaurant visits.
Use: First, edit the list as needed, adding a favorite image in place of the dinosaurs or using the blank version to place check marks. Depending on the child’s cognitive-communicative level, describe the schedule to the student in one or two sentences, such as, “We will use this schedule at the restaurant; if you get 10 dinosaurs, Mommy will let you play the iPad.”
Directions: You will need a color printer with ink, copy paper or cardstock (more sturdy), and a laminator.
• Edit the form in Word, if needed.
• Print the form in color.
• Laminate the form.
• Attach a dry-erase marker with Velcro or hole punch with a string attached.
Created by Kate Shepard, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Shadow Me Speech Therapy