Talking watches

Concept of Time

We take our understanding of time for granted. Fairly early on in childhood we begin to measure the passing of time with daily routine activities such as mealtimes or wash times. Many people with ASD experience delayed, fragmented time perception, which can make social interactions and learning a real challenge. Taking the time (excuse the pun) to understand how someone with ASD perceives time can help you learn better ways to communicate and eventually help them to learn better ways of dealing with time related issues.

Imagine having no means of measuring time as it passes. You would be unable to relax when you know something important is about to happen. You would need a way of measuring time as it passes that is easy to understand. Without it you would be unable to relax and far more likely to obsess and become anxious. You can start to understand why some people with autism really struggle to wait for something important without becoming overwhelmed with anxiety and wishing for it all to be over with. This stops people from enjoying special events in their friends and families lives.


It’s so important for teachers and parents to adapt effective teaching methods to accommodate the way someone with ASD perceive time. Here are some tips to make this process easier.

  • A Talking watches can be a great help for anyone learning how to tell time, the visually impaired or someone with a learning difficulty

  • Visual timers like the Time Tracker can make learning about time enjoyable. The use of coloured lights to show the passing of time and reduce anxiety in someone with autism by giving something to focus on. A true visual image of time passing. Each task or event can be timed with the visual timer.

  • Visual schedules are a great way of building routine. People with ASD love routine because the predictability is comforting for them. Use lists and reminders to keep the process moving along. Make it fun with coloured stickers and adapt it to the individual’s needs.

  • Use visual aids to help the person with ASD understand instructions and communicate rather than relying entirely in verbal instruction.

Be patient when a person with autism is in the process of listening and answering verbal information. Do not interrupt them because that could throw them off their answer.

  • Learning sessions should be free of distractions and follow a structure with short, concise instructions.




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aa me speech bubble

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6 thoughts on “Talking watches”

  1. I really like your post. I have an son who has Autism, he is also non verbal. I was thinking maybe a Talking watch would be a good idea for him to have.

    He tends to rely on me for entertainment, so I think a Talking watch would interest him and hopefully it would give me more time to focus on my other responsibilities.

    1. Great Idea Brenda. My brother Adrian gets a lot out of his iPad. I download many apps for him such as a talking watch app and interactive game apps. Maybe an iPad and a talking wrist watch would be a great way of helping your son to focus his attentions on activities he can do without your constant support. Mums need a good rest to do what they do best and this is especially true for mums who have children on the autistic spectrum. 🙂 Mark

  2. I do not have autism, but do have many mental difficulties, so I can at least relate to the difficulties.

    I am certain that it would be stressful to not be able to keep track of time to know when events are to happen. I CAN keep track of time and it is stressful enough for me! But I do wonder if having a daily routine that one does not deviate from often might give quite a bit of comfort. Wouldn’t that be the most important thing?

    1. Thank you for your comment Richard. The more the world learns about ASD the better we will be at working towards equality.

  3. wow this is awesome. My boss has been having trouble understanding why a watch wouldnt help me to come into work on time. But I can now see that a talking watch could help me keep to time better. I have found this post really useful and I am now willing to go buy myslef a talking watch.

    thanks for the information



    1. Hey Jose, Im pleased I have helped you find a solution to help you do your job well. Make sure you don’t delay in buying that watch

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