Thursday, January 9, 2020

Practical Strategies to Help Make Transitions Easier for All

We all make transitions many times a day. Transitions are when you must change from one activity or setting to another. They require a certain level of understanding of expectations, along with the ability to shift attention from one task or routine to another.

Here are some practical strategies to help make transitions easier:

1. Plan and Discuss Transitions
Just like us, children do better when they know what to expect. If you know they only have a half-hour to play in the playground, discuss that with them before you get there. Similarly, if you know you will need to go and get groceries after picking them up from school, let them know the plan before dropping them off in the morning. If they know what to expect, they will be less surprised by the transition. For young or non-verbal children, the “plan” can be shared using pictures of what to expect.

2. Use Time Warnings
To help your child know when to expect transitions, provide him/her with warnings ahead of time. The child may need you to say when there is 15, 10, and 5 minutes left to play at the park. When possible, use a clock or timer to teach how to check how much time is left. You can buy or download visual timers that show time elapsing visually without needing to understand numbers (, vis timer app).

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