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Visual Timer for Children and Adults with Autism


"I work with students with autism and other severe disabilities. The concept of time is very abstract. However, students understand how to watch the red countdown. It makes work time, transitions to new environments, and transitions away from highly preferred tasks much more successful." – Amy, Speech Language Pathologist
For many people on the Autism Spectrum, relating to surroundings through visual cues can ease transitions between activities and help them complete tasks successfully. Time is an abstract concept, which can be frustrating and confusing, especially for neurodiverse minds.

Being able to “see” time disappear as the Time Timer disk moves can be incredibly empowering. Sensory overload, transition anxiety and difficulty communicating can make it challenging for some children and adults with ASD to learn, work, or complete everyday tasks. But they can, and they do—they just learn differently.

Time Timer visual timers helps those with Autism “see” time pass. Even young children instinctively understand that when the red disk is gone, time is up!

How the Time Timer Works

Easy to Set
Easy to Set: To set a Time Timer, move the colored disk to the desired amount of time.
No Loud Ticking
No Loud Ticking: The time automatically begins to count down with no loud ticking.
Time Visually Disappears
Time Visually Disappears: As time elapses, the colored disk disappears. The Time Timer operates in a clockwise direction.
Make Every Moment Count
Make Every Moment Count: Time is up when the disk is gone!


“I'll use the Time Timer during sensory breaks where the kids might be bouncing or jumping and their eyes may not be on it—so it's nice that you can turn on the timer and pair it with an auditory and visual component.” – Jen O'Brien, Occupational Therapist

Are you a Montessori Educator? Check out our tips on using the Time Timer in the Montessori classroom.

Ways that Time Timer can be used for those with Autism:

  • Easing stressful transitions by showing "how much longer"
  • By pairing with a visual schedule, it can help set expectations of what comes next
  • Helping visitors and new caregivers stick to the family routine
  • Increasing confidence and independence
  • Promoting/Supporting natural strengths/skills/abilities, such as visual thinking
  • Providing visual stimuli accommodations in various workplace environments, aiding in maintaining presence and knowing how much time is left for a specific task

Intuitive Assistive Technology

Time Timer believes in creating products that truly help people of all ages and abilities to conquer time – in the classroom, in the home, and in the office. While time can be a challenge for everyone, we aim to provide intuitive and innovative solutions that make a real difference.

Time Timer is clinically proven to increase appropriate waiting behavior in children with developmental disabilities.

A study conducted by Trinity College and National University of Ireland Galway in Ireland found that using the Time Timer was an effective strategy in treating problem behaviors and increasing waiting behavior in children with developmental delays in a school setting.
Intuitive Assistive Technology

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MOD + Dry Erase Board

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The Time Timer MOD + Dry Erase Board empowers individuals to engage in self-regulation and time-management strategies such as tracking schedules, tasks, and routines with the Time Timer. With a single glance, users can track their tasks as well as how much time they have left to complete. This product is great for easing transitions and setting expectations for what comes next.
PLUS 120 Minute
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Sometimes one hour is just not enough time. The Time Timer PLUS 120 Minute is ideal for independent learning stations at home, time blocking for large projects, and long-duration activities. Depending on the age of the user and activity needs, you can explore the entire Time Timer PLUS Family, available in 5-Minute, 20-Minute, 60-Minute, and 120-Minute versions, to find the perfect duration.
Original 3”
Original 3”

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The Time Timer Original 3 inch is the ideal timer for individual and one-to-one tutoring or mentoring work. This timer is perfect for setting up workstations throughout the classroom. Included with the Time Timer 3" is a 3x3 inch Dry Erase Activity card that can be slotted into the top of the timer for visual schedules and time-to-task management.

Additional Resources:

Even More Resources: Read Time Timer Blog Posts that mention Autism and have resources for families and educators.