Teaching About Time
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Teaching About Time

FASD Behaviours

  • Children with FASD have trouble with abstract concepts they cannot see or touch, such as time.
  • A child with FASD is missing an internal clock, which is what organizes our day. Passing time, 10 minutes or 1 hour both feel the same to him. This means he may be late or miss scheduled events.
  • A sense of time for these children must be imposed by external means and consistent routines.
  • The order of events in a schedule is what sequences and structures time. This helps your child understand what to do next.


  • Use a visual timer: This will help your child know when an activity will be over and they can transition easier to the next task. This could be an oven timer, sand-timer or egg timer.
  • Be consistent with language: When talking about time, always use the same, clear words. For example, 2:15pm would be referred to as “two fifteen” and not “quarter past two” or “fifteen minutes after two”.
  • Write down important times: : Tape a paper under a digital clock with the time your child is to leave for school. Tell your child, “When the numbers match, it’s time to leave for school”.
  • Teach time by association: Measure periods of time by TV shows or songs on the radio, e.g., “We will clean up for one more song”.
  • Use a colour-coding system for older children and teens when using a calendar or day-timer. This can help them to keep track of things that occur over large blocks of time, such as school, meals, soccer practice, appointments, and homework time.
  • Assign a colour specific to each type of activity (e.g., blue for school, yellow for dinner, green for homework) and block off sections of time every day in each colour. Include a reference list for colours beside the calendar.
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