OurBoards’ vision is to support visual people to understand and manage the activities in their life. We’ve been really encouraged by feedback from parents and professionals telling us how children with ADHD and Autism have benefited from using our boards and how they really enjoy using them. Rather than being presented with a paper and Velcro visual timetable they really engage with their OurBoard and take ownership of it. This creates a sense of confidence and helps to reduce anxiety about what’s happening today and in the coming week.
It’s worth saying at this point who the premium extended weekly timetable is developed for. We believe that it’s most appropriate for children and adults with autism, learning difficulties or anxiety about their activities and transitions. To benefit most from the weekly board, the person will need to have an understanding of their activities and a basic writing capability, at least enough to write keywords about what they’ve done today.
So, why do we say that an OurBoard is a premium product?
We think it’s premium because of the materials that we use and the design, colours and layout of the board. OurBoards are made as a sandwich of Foamex, printed vinyl and a dry-wipe laminate surface. This combination produces a board which is lightweight, rigid, weatherproof and tactile.
Along with the board itself we supply Gecko pockets which are clear PVC envelopes with a self-cling, Gecko, backing. Gecko is an amazing material that clings to most smooth surfaces without glue, static or magnetism. The pockets enable you to print your own photos or PECS symbols to place on the weekly timetable. This means that the pictures can be tailored to your child’s specific activities, such as school or visits to friends and family. The pockets have a wide opening and are easy to use, meaning that your child doesn’t have to have particularly good fine motor control to be able to use them.
The Gecko self cling backing makes the pockets incredibly flexible. As well as being used on the timetable boards, they can be taken off the board, when appropriate, and placed on a bedroom door to support the morning routine or on the front door to act as a reminder when leaving the house. They can even be placed on the car window to help support transitions between locations.
And why do say that our weekly timetable is extended?
Most visual timetables have a single row of activities which are removed when the activity is completed. Removing the activity also removes the opportunity to build on the experience gained from that activity. The OurBoards weekly timetable has three rows which can be used flexibly for activities and highlights. We suggest that you support your child to use the first two rows for the day’s key activities using pockets and keywords and then use the third row for highlighting the achievements of each day. Every evening we suggest that you encourage the child to write keywords or phrases about what they did today. Then encourage the child to recap what they did earlier in the week and what is coming later in the week. Use this opportunity to encourage conversation, to talk through the week and to fix the timetable in the child’s mind. If there have been bad experiences today, then go over them and talk about what could be done tomorrow. Use good experiences to reinforce positive behaviours and choices. In our experience the evening OurBoard time can be a rich time with your child to focus on their activities in a way that they can see and understand.
And what do parents say?
I have been using a homemade velcro weekly visual timetable for over a year for my son who is 5. He has high-functioning autism and can get very anxious if he cannot refer to the plan for his week. His homemade Planner, whilst still useful, really was just a visual reminder with very little 2-way interaction.I ordered a Weekly Planner from OurBoards and when it arrived the first thing I was impressed with was the quality of the board. It is lightweight but is sturdy and wipes clean far easier than most whiteboards I’ve used previously. The self-cling pockets are genius! It makes it so easy to adapt the Planner and slot in pictures for any occasion. And the pockets stick to most doors and walls in our house which makes them really versatile for other visual prompts when we need them.
The best thing of all is that the OurBoards Weekly Planner has encouraged my son to want to write about his day – simple things at the moment like ‘good day’ or ‘fun’ but I’m confident that he’ll want to do this more as his writing skills improve.
Most of all, my son sees this as his Planner and he wants to be involved in decisions as we change it each week.
I bought one of the ‘Daily Timetable’ boards for my son a few months ago. He is 13 and I wanted to update his old visual timetable now he is a bit older. It is absolutely fantastic. We bought a variety of coloured pens to go with it and my son loves it. The Gecko pockets are a superb idea and allow us to still use some pecs and put photos on the board as well as writing on it!
We are going away tomorrow and found the board doesn’t fit in our case so have ordered a smaller ‘now and next’ board and more smaller Gecko pockets that should arrive today!
Customer service was fantastic.