Supporting Children with Developmental Delays Through a Structured Home Routine

For parents of children with developmental delays, navigating challenging behaviors of at home is a big challenge. Many parents find themselves grappling with situations where their child refuses to listen, engages in frequent tantrums, or exhibits unexplained bouts of crying. The frustration of being unable to secure their child’s compliance with simple instructions further compounds the daily challenges of parenting.

To address these common parenting challenges, the implementation of a structured routine emerges as a valuable strategy. A carefully crafted routine has the potential to mitigate challenging behaviors at home by providing a framework that fosters predictability and stability. This article explores how a structured routine can serve as a proactive approach to creating a more harmonious and supportive environment for both parents and children alike.

Routine promote stability for children with developmental delays

Establishing a structured routine could provide essential support and comfort to children facing developmental delays. Daily schedule can enhance predictability, reduce anxiety and also promote independence skills. For many children with developmental delays, facing challenges to understand what other people is saying and expressing their needs or thought.  A structured daily schedule becomes a guiding framework, helping them anticipate when their basic needs will be met, reducing the necessity for crying or tantrums as a means of communication. By creating an environment where children feel secure, the occurrence of challenging behaviors becomes significantly reduced.

Routine facilitate smooth transitions at home

Numerous parents express challenges in various daily transitions such as bedtime routines, shower time, adhering to meal schedules, or ending playtime at the playground. Hence, a structure daily schedule can help parents to provide a clear sign for upcoming changes and making transitions more manageable. For example a 30-minute screen time before bedtime or setting a consistent bedtime at 9 pm each night assists the child in understanding the timing of event. It will be hard when parent want to start a structure daily schedule. But with patient and support, most of the child had no problem in following the daily schedule. Over time, children learn the duration of playtime and when it’s time to transition to other activities like taking a shower.

Improved time conceptualization

Children with developmental delays, particularly those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), often grapple with the abstract concept of time. A structured routine serves as a valuable tool in aiding their comprehension of the sequence of events throughout the day.

For example, Alex was a boy that love to eat but he never follows the proper meal time. He will request for food whenever he feel bored. When parents refuse to give, he tantrum immediately. After setting up a structure routine for him, Alex rarely tantrum and learned to patiently wait for his meals.

Similar positive outcomes were observed in Alena. Alena love to watch youtue and cry for hours if parent stop her from watching. After setting a structured routine, parents found greater control over Alena’s screentime. They also facing less challenges in managing her request for screentime.  

Increased independence skills

Routine also could help parent to facilitate the development of self-help skills or daily living tasks. By providing a reliable framework for learning, routines offer parents an opportunity to encourage independence effectively. Parents can implement routine-based rewards as positive reinforcement while guiding the child in acquiring essential skills. For example, a child may learn to independently wear shoes before heading to the playground, eat meals autonomously before enjoying TV time, and brush their teeth before settling in for bedtime story time with a parent.


Creating a routine at home for a child with developmental delays is not easy. It needs parents to think a lot about what the child needs and to be committed. Sometimes, there are problems that are hard to solve, and parents might need help. That’s why our team of professionals is here to give advice and strategies to support parents.

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