1. Visual Schedules
Create a visual schedule for the day that includes both structured and unstructured times. This can help provide a sense of predictability.
2. Transition Warnings
Use timers or visual cues to give advance notice before transitioning from structured to unstructured time.
3. Special Interests
Encourage engagement with preferred activities or hobbies during unstructured times.
4. Sensory Activities
Offer sensory-friendly activities like playing with textured materials or engaging with sensory toys.
5. Guided Activities
Provide options for activities with clear instructions, like puzzles or art projects.
6. Choice Making
Allow the individual to choose from a set of activities during unstructured times, giving them a sense of control.
7. Social Stories
Use social stories or visual supports to explain the concept of unstructured times and what to expect.
8. Gradual Exposure
Introduce short periods of unstructured time and gradually increase the duration as comfort grows.
9. Structured Relaxation
Incorporate calming activities like deep breathing or listening to soothing music into unstructured periods.
10. Personaliszed Approach
Understand the individual's preferences, sensory sensitivites and communication style to tailor the strategies accordingly.