Mini-Schedule: Doctor’s Office

  • Situation

    How can I help our trips to the doctor’s office become less traumatic? It seems like each time we go there is a meltdown.

  • Summary

    Provide a short picture mini-schedule that shows a few sequences –

    1. sit in waiting room
    2. play with toy
    3. go to exam room
    4. see the nurse and doctor
    5. go for treat

    You can draw the pictures, write the words if your child reads, use pictures from the internet, Boardmaker visuals, or use objects. As you do each activity cross it off so your child can see what is next and when he is finished.

  • Definition

    A mini-schedule is a visual schedule or visual sequencing of events for a short period of time NOT a day schedule. It can be in picture, object, word, or numeral format. A mini-schedule can give a sense of time and when an activity will end. Knowing what and when things happen can prevent many behavioral issues.

  • Quick Facts
    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Moderate
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites

    Ability to understand pictures, or words, or objects, or numerals

  • Process
    1. When possible make sure your community outings are not lengthy.

    2. Think exactly what you will be doing – if going to the doctor’s office decide a few things you will be doing there (sitting in the waiting room, going to examination room, talking to the doctor and nurse, go for treat).

    3. If possible put something preferred for your child at the end of the mini-schedule such as “go for ice-cream”.

    4. Show your child how to cross off each item as it is completed – or you cross it off.

    5. Be sure to follow through with the listed schedule.

  • Documents and Related Resources