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Routine Activities

Authentic, routines-based methods for program planning and progress monitoring during
intervention visits
Interventionists observe the child in his/her routine activities, and interview family members and other important adults, to gain an understanding of each child's unique developmental profile as the child functions in his/her natural environment. Data include the child's strengths, needs, and learning characteristics within the context of everyday life, as well as the developmental impact of the social and physical environment. This authentic picture provides data for identifying individualized approaches that fit the child, his/her family, and the routine activities in which the child participates.

What are Routine Activities?

Routine activities are essentially what the child does during the day.

Routine activities are where the child lives, learns, and grows. For some families, routine activities are very structured and comprised of specifically defined activities occurring at certain times of the day. For other families, most of the day is comprised of “hang out” time, unstructured and casual. And a lot of families are somewhere in between.

Routine activities might not be “activities” and might not be “routine”: While many routine activities are similar across families, the way those routine activities occur are individual to each family. And, each family decides for themselves whether a certain routine activity is an opportunity for their child to learn, and therefore a time for intervention.

Interventionists identify the routine activities individual to each family, and determine how each particular family engages in a particular routine activity. Routine activities are the places, times, occurrences in which child outcomes are addressed.

Routine activities can* include:

Home Child care Community
Playing with toys Playing with peers Going for a walk
Eating Eating   Playing in the park
Taking a bath Playing outside  Shopping 
Reading stories Putting on/taking off coat or jacket  Listening to a story at the library
Feeding a pet Engaging in messy play Riding the bus/subway
Getting dressed Changing diapers Swimming at the JCC
Playing with other children in the building Saying goodbye/hello at drop off/pick up Hanging out at the barber shop/beauty salon

*REMINDER: It’s the family who identifies the routine activities important for embedding interventions. Also note that routine activities are not places, but activities within places.


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