Building in Quiet Time

True “quiet time” is honestly still a work in process in my house. Little Miss is a real attention seeker and leaving someone who could possibly pay attention to her for any period of time is a concept that is quite foreign to her. That, in itself, is why quiet time is so necessary in our house.

More independent children will have an easier time with this and if your child is at a place where he or she can do it, all you need to do is add quiet time to the schedule and let it happen.

If you’re in our boat, you have to work on teaching your child how to have quiet time.

Teaching Quiet Time

Unfortunately, quiet time is not something that kids can achieve all of the sudden. You’ll need to build up to it over time. When we began adding quiet time to the schedule, my goal was for Little Miss to give me about 10 minutes. In order for that to happen, I had to give her an activity that she could complete independently and that I knew would take about 10 minutes of time. For example, Little Miss enjoys coloring those pictures where the black portions of the page are framed in velvet.

I set her up with the coloring and did my own thing. We made it about 6 minutes. But it was a start. Each day I give her an activity and each day I try to push a little longer. We’re up to about 15 minutes now and while it is hard won, it is well worth it.

Task Bins/Drawers

Another more structured option that is frequently used with children on the autism spectrum is task bins (or drawers). In the task bin system, closed-ended activities (activities that have a concrete ending) are laid out in bins or drawers. The learner is instructed to complete each activity and return the contents to the bin when finished. For some additional information on this system, see this article from Lovass Institute.

Next (Building Your Schedule)