Transition Planning For Special Needs Kids Between Activities:

A lot of our kids have trouble with transitions. Transitions are moments of change, such as being in the clinic and trying to transition from the lobby to the gym. Or at school or at home, transitioning from activity to activity. A lot of our kiddos have a hard time with these transitions.

Here are some easy tips to help you help your child to transition:

1. Use a visual timer.

When you use a timer that the kids can see, they can look and know how much more time they have before they need to move to the next activity. You can give them a verbal reminder: “Okay, there’s 10 minutes left. Whenever the red is gone on the clock, that means we’re all done with this activity and it’s time to move on.” This way the child can be prepared and can get prepared for the change.

2. Use a visual schedule.

Another thing you can do is to have a visual schedule. This is somewhat dependent on the child and the age/developmental level. If your child is ready for this, you can sit down with him and make a list of what is going to happen throughout the day. You can write it down together, and that way you have an expectation that he can see. If you have a lower-level child, you can use pictures to plan out the day. You can also say, “First this, then that.” That way they’re not looking at a whole day and getting overwhelmed—they’re just doing one thing, then the next thing. You can also mark things off the list, as they’re done. If they’re using the words, have them mark the item off or put a check mark. If they’re using the pictures, have them take the picture off and put it up. That way they know, “This is done, and this is what I have left.”

3. Use an object or a toy.

Say they have a favorite animal, and they’re having a hard time transitioning from the lobby to the gym. We can use that animal as a transition piece. You can take that toy, bring it back with them, and then put it to rest. Whenever they’re done playing and it’s time to transition again, you can have them pick it up and take it with them. That gives them a sense of security and it’s a visual reminder as well.

We hope these tips help for smoother transitions! To learn about how we help children and young adults with special needs, click here: Services

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