yesterday, today, tomorrow


Another one of Cali’s challenges is distinguishing between yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Whether a routine experience or a one time big even, she wouldn’t be able to reference when it happened. Does your child struggle with this??


In the early stages I might ask, “Cali when is your friend coming to play? Today or  tomorrow?” She would most likely just repeat the last word I said. A good way to figure if she was just repeating, would be to switch it up and ask, “Tomorrow or today?” If she replied “Today” I knew she was just repeating my last word with no real understanding of what I was asking.


I’m not exactly sure what the developmental age is for kids to understand this concept, but whatever age it is Cali was going to need help. In fact, that’s the way it is with Cali. Since the diagnosis two years ago, we have come to realize that for now Cali needs assistance on learning most everything, every step of the way. Most kids, or typical kids I should say, can learn through osmosis, learning as they go and just picking things up, but Cali is a bit different.  Although I must  say while typical kids do learn from osmosis, they certainly can’t learn everything on their own.  We all know this. For Cali everything is taught and very few things are learned  through just experience. For example, a typical child might sit down with their mom and read a counting book over and over again, and begin to pick up the foundational principles of counting. Cali would not. Her therapists would have to write out an entire program all about counting, with different levels to pass off as she progressed with this concept. We have to track every trial we do with Cali to determine if she is ready to move on to the next level.


So…how did we go about teaching the concept of yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let me tell you.


Yet again, another picture chart. Pictures, pictures, pictures people. This is how we learn in this house. The key to teaching with this chart was to choose events each day that were random and not routine. For example you wouldn’t see brushing your teeth drawn out. Why? Because brushing Cali’s teeth is something we do each and every day. It isn’t specific to yesterday, today, or tomorrow. So instead, we think of the things that randomly occur and draw them out. Attempt to anyhow:) No judging please!


To give you an example of how this picture chart works I would say something like this:


-”Cali, yesterday we rode Brownie. What did we do yesterday?”

- “Cali, today we are going to shop at Target. What are we going to do today?”

- The same goes for column three.


Cali still struggles a bit with this concept but we are working hard to help her out.  I need to remind myself that some concepts take longer to learn than others. When I forget this truth, I find myself becoming frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel, but then I remember back to when Cali wasn’t speaking at all. I remember this and think wow look at her now. It’s then that I change my attitude and realize that Cali will get it, just give it time.

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  1. Happy Easter!!! Is it Friday yet??! So excited for Friday ‘Sweet signs of Hope!’ I look forward to those every week. Loved this post, I remember reading that you also take a lot of video so you always have this reminder of how far Cali has come. I have great days, and then I too have days where I just want to ‘throw in the towel’ and just stop pushing and let him be! I can’t wait for the day when Jude will talk, maybe actually say ‘Mom’ instead of crying for what he wants.

  2. Love this! It’s so true that our kids just need to learn everything every step of the way. It reminds me of the days before we had “Google” I would have to check out books at the library about the specific subject I needed to learn about. It took ALOT longer & the process was very daunting, but I learned …. Just took me more time & patience. That’s the way I see it I guess :) And that shows how old I am! Haha

  3. Chelsea, you are so great. this is a great way to teach time concepts, and it is one of the more difficult concepts to master for sure. Check out the app What is Today? it’s cute. Also the Tuneville app I’ve shown you before has a “when” question part that’s helpful :)

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