How to Help Students with Special Needs Learn Time Management

How to Help Students with Special Needs Learn Time Management

Feature Box Copy:
Many students with special needs often struggle in managing daily tasks and the concept of time management. Here at The Gateway School, we incorporate the soft skill of time management to help our students function at home, in the community and in an employment situations. Learn more here.

mixed race 12 year old doing homework on time

Using effective time management in our daily lives can be difficult for children and adults alike. Students with special needs, however, often face unique challenges. Students who are on the spectrum or have learning disabilities such as attention-deficit deficit/hyperactivity disorder, dyslexia, or developmental delays often have greater difficulty grasping the more complex functions of time management.  

Developing effective time management is vital for a child's academic success and is an important life skill as they start to become more independent. Although every student has their own strengths and weaknesses in managing their time effectively, there are some basic strategies you can follow to help your students succeed. 

Setting Students Up for Success 

Creating a high-structure environment is often extremely beneficial for helping students with special needs students learn how to follow a daily routine. Of course, learning effective time management goes beyond following a schedule or knowing how to tell time alone. While these are crucial foundational learning blocks, students must also learn how to carve out sufficient time in the day for completing assignments or achieving set goals, otherwise known as task analysis.  
Learning how to perform task analysis will help students decide how long a given task will take them to complete based on the individual steps involved. Visual aids such as picture charts and specific, step-by-step written instructions can be helpful tools for helping students with special needs master these skills. Knowing how to correctly estimate the amount of time various tasks will take to complete and how to prioritize them accordingly is necessary for students to learn to manage their time effectively.  

As with learning any new skill, repetition is often the key to success. Breaking down daily tasks and academic assignments into smaller, more achievable goals will help students stay on track and not become easily overwhelmed. Other useful tools to help your students succeed include daily and weekly planners, timers/stopwatches, and progress charts. These, of course, are just a few suggestions and tools available. What resources would you add to the list as a special needs educator? 

Closing Thoughts

Children with special needs all have their unique strengths and abilities. Developing an individualized approach is paramount when it comes to helping each student succeed in an academic environment and learn essential life skills such as effective time management. 

Request a Tour of The Gateway School

Since 1980, RKS Associates has been a leader in providing the needs of special education students and helping children grow to their fullest potential. Each of our schools seeks to empower each student with skills for life, work, and recreation; we believe that every individual possesses the dignity and potential to contribute to a better world.

As part of the RKS Associates Network of schools in New Jersey, the goal at the Gateway School is to assist all students in becoming as independent as possible and help them get ready for the future. Located in Carteret, NJ, we serve individuals throughout Central and Northern New Jersey. Contact us at our main office at 732.541.4400 with any questions or schedule a private tour of the Gateway School today.

Kevin Jones, Principal-The Gateway School of Carteret, NJ