Autism affects children in many ways, from how they communicate with other people to their quality of sleep. For instance, 80% of people diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder also have sleep onset disorder.
Besides struggling to sleep in the evenings, children with special needs often lose track of time.
Thankfully, a fun visual timer can help provide structure and routine to your child without overwhelming them with time limitations.
As a parent, you need to use intuitive and innovative solutions, including a countdown timer if you want to go about your day with some structure and want to keep things calm in your home.
So, this article will cover the answer to the question, "what is a visual timer?" the types of visual timers, and how these sensory toys can benefit your little one.
What Are Visual Timers?
Time has always been hard for humans to grasp, but for neurodiverse children, it can be a stressful concept, and parents find it challenging to find a solution for time to task management.
For example, you don't want your child to be late for the school bus simply because they didn't remember the time.
A visual countdown timer is there to assist your child with time management.
The idea is that the visual countdown on sensory devices like these can reinforce when tasks need to be completed and when you need to be somewhere. They can help make every moment count.
So everyday life such as, getting to school, finishing homework, and being on time becomes easy and manageable for kids.
How a Visual Countdown Timer Works
Unlike other clocks, a visual scedule is specifically designed for children on the spectrum. Most of the time, you can find alarm features on these time timers, which alert your child when time is running out. Plus, there's often a visual countdown with different colours and images that are great for young babies or toddlers who need the extra visual stimulus.
Even though visual timers are excellent for restricting screen time and encouraging your child to separate relaxation from essential activities.
Sensory toys such as visual timers are also great for children who are visual learners. When demands and rules don't work, you can try using a visual timer and see if your child responds well to a visual schedule.
When To Use a Time Timer
Once you have your time timer, you'll need to know when your child can use it. As already mentioned, brushing your teeth and completing homework are perfect tasks for using a time timer.
But, it can also be helpful when washing their hands or waiting for something in a shop. These visual thinking timers are also great for dealing with transitions between tasks.
If your child knows what's coming next or when it's time for an event, it helps them prepare for their day and avoid feeling anxious.
Your little one can also bring their visual timer to class and use it during school. For example, the time timer can be used when they have to wait for their turn to speak or when the class period is over. Its a visual reminder to help them navigate stressful transitions.
Another occasion for using visual timers is at home when you're cleaning the dinner table and washing the dishes. As a parent, this will save you a lot of time, and household chores will be done in time!
Free Time Without Visual Timers
Although visual timers can help with critical tasks in a day, it's equally important to turn off the timers when you have family bonding time. For instance, watching a movie or enjoying snuggles on the couch.
Separating the time with the device and without is how your child will learn how to relax and feel at ease with unstructured times. Otherwise, there's the risk that your child will feel stressed when there's no time blocked off.
Therefore, finding the balance between timed and untimed events is an excellent way to make the most of a time timer.
The Best Visual Timers for Your Child
At Sensory Assist, you can find a range of visual timers that can be taken anywhere and used at any time.
Glitter is one of those household items that are useful for any child. It can make beautiful artwork and be sprinkled on cakes. Plus, it can be found in visual timers!
The tiny speckles of glitter will give your child something to focus on when the time is passing and make for a lovely decoration on a room or a school desk.
This toy is made from non-toxic materials, so it's safe for little hands.
Liquid Timer Single-Drip
If your child doesn't like glitter but enjoys watching something colourful while they wait for time to pass, this visual timer is a great option.
Every second, a colour drop will fall to the bottom of the timer and change shape as it moves through the water.
So, when your child is brushing their teeth, they can watch the colour drop and disappear, and before they know it, it's time for bed!
Sand Art Sandscapes
Did you know that a visual timer can look like a painting? It might seem unreal, but this timer proves it's real!
The design allows you to create your own design and watch it disappear over time. This is a perfect way for children to soothe their anxiety and stress.
And, children can explore the sand's magic while doing something boring like homework or dishes. It's all about making those small moments more enjoyable and fun.
Your child will love this visual timer.
Make Time Magical With a Visual Timer
Time can fade within seconds or feel like it's never-ending for children on the spectrum. So you need to make it fun to ensure necessary homework is completed and chores are carried out.
Visual timers will turn time into an immersive and calming part of the day, so your child won't need to get stressed about it anymore.
Making the day seem manageable and controlled is the best thing you can do for your child. It gives them something to escape when they feel overwhelmed by an event.
Buy your little one a visual time and watch time pass with sparkles, colour, and fantastic art!
Check out our collection here.