Autism and the visual timer

Most children with Autism, and indeed without, love their iPads and technology. My son is no different and it was becoming increasingly difficult to persuade him to relinquish his iPad and move onto playing with something else. After some research and speaking with professionals we found the Learning Resources Time Tracker and what a difference it has made.

Essentially it’s a traffic light system enabling you to set different times for each zones and a different sound. Our son Jake instantly took to it and loves the fact he knows how long he has and when it will be ending. To our amazement once the rules were explained he handed back to us the iPad when the buzzer rang without prompting and moved onto to something else. Of course we have the odd times where he has a grumble and kicks up a fuss but mainly when he’s tired. We had also tried using sand timers before but found Jake responds better to a countdown with visual/sound aids.

Since getting the timer some of our friends with and without autistic children and purchased one and all had positive results. We mainly use it for the iPad but have found it useful with other things such as limiting time watching telly and one especially good use is the “ten minutes until bedtime” routine we have devised. Again once the buzzer goes Jake take’s my hand ready to walk upstairs to bed. 🙂


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Middle aged, slightly below average height, slightly above a healthy weight, a bit of a numpty but father to a wonderful little autistic lad called Jake.

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