Morning routine — Scope | Disability forum
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Morning routine

My brother, aged 12, has autism and ADHD. He really struggles to wake up and get dressed ready for school. This adds tension and pressure to the morning routine despite me trying to wake him up early to give him more time. He has an alarm, but he doesn't wake up! Once I've woken him up it takes him approx. 1 hour-1 hour and 30 mins to get into his uniform. This means he is late for breakfast and doesn't eat much.

Any tips on how to help him organise himself?



  • GinaS
    GinaS Member Posts: 35 Connected
    thank you for your message.

    You can try using a visual schedule and timers so that he can see clearly what is happening next and what is expected of him. You can create a visual sequence using laminated pictures/symbols/photos (depending on his level of understanding and the best way to communicate with him) or you could even use an app on the iPad (some kids have exceptional skills using the iPad!).

    Many kids with autism are visual learners and these strategies work very well.

    If you want to try the simple visual sequence, you can find different schedules and printable cards online. Just print them, laminate (if possible) and use velcro to create the schedule. For example, use symbols for toilet, shower, t-shirt, pants, socks, breakfast, etc. You can use a timer at the same time (e.g. egg timer) to help him keep track of the time. If he can tell the time then you could also use the clock.

    Make sure you end the routine with something he likes - maybe favourite food for breakfast. It is also very important to be consistent and use it every day to see if it works or not.

    Let us know how it goes!
  • Emma
    Emma Member Posts: 85 Connected
  • Community_Scope
    Community_Scope Posts: 79

    Scope community team

    We posted your question on Twitter and got a couple of responses we thought you might be interested in:
    Sally Ryder suggested: "Let him choose the order & tweak his way until automatic. Buy clothes that mix & match & are quick to put on. Velcro not button."
    Karen Watt said: "A pecs picture timetable would probably help, photos re sized laminated, stuck on a timetable board with velcro stickers."
    Janet Russell offered this: "Putting all the lights on in his room and pulling the covers completely off my son tends to help him wake up on his own."
  • Michelle Egan
    Michelle Egan Member Posts: 4 Connected
    I know I have same problem with my child in the morning but he's totally blind as well n development delayed he's so angry in the morning very aggressive and repetitive
  • Madmomz7
    Madmomz7 Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Have the same problem here with my 20 year old, he was dx with aspergers last week (finally!!) and been going through this for 11 years now, no one knew how to help him and still no answers. It can take anything between 2-9+ hours each day to get him up, he can't see past why he needs to get up in the morning even if it's something he wants to go to.
    It's been affecting the rest of the family for so long (mostly ASD siblings that they too are becoming challenging to get up in mornings too)!!


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