WHAT IS TRANSITION? Transition refers to change of one activity to another or from the movement of one stage of life to another,
moving homes, grades or schools. Transitioning from activity to activity, a change in a routine, people, places, schedules, peers can be difficult, leading to tantrums, anxiety, outbursts and , behaviours that can be difficult to manage. I use many different strategies with Niam, following are some practical and easy to implement tips you can use with your child.
1. PLANNING IN ADVANCE
If you know there will be a change in your child’s life, plan in advance by preparing transitional strategies, use social stories, talk, visual schedules, timers, First/Then Cards to help your child be prepared for the change making it seamless and more easy.
2. USE A TIMER
A visual timer can be used to give the child a sense of time, how long will the duration of a activity be, or how much time is left before the child moves on to the next activity. There are many types of timers, a digital stop watch, timer on a App, phone, tablet, a visual countdown timer to see how much time is left or an hour glass timer, there are many Apps that can be downloaded to help with behaviours and transitions.
3. VISUAL SCHEDULES
Schedules help children visualize and predict what is coming next, organize their day, give predictability and help to understand the concept of sequencing. Choose how many activities are included on the visual schedule according to the child, some children will need many, others less, choose what is appropriate for your child. Visual schedules can be used to help the child with change, by teaching the child the order of activities can change, by rearranging or replacing the activities. Visual schedules are a form of receptive communication, the schedules can be made with the child, teach negotiation skills by allowing your child to participate in choosing the number of desired activities vs. undesired activities. Visual schedules can be laminated and used in a variety of locations, I take mine everywhere.
4. FIRST /THEN
First / Then schedules allows the child to visually see the first activity and the activity that will immediately follow. The first/then schedule can be used to help a child to control tantrums or to encourage them to perform an ” undesired ” activity, “First read book then play” or ” First eat apple than cookie”
5. VISUAL STORIES
Short stories are a great way to reinforce skills, teach about expectations and social situations that can be challenging and confusing for our children. There are many different ways to make stories, short sentences, lots of pictures, sentences and pictures, use the method that is appropriate for your child’s ability. Read the story as many times as necessary, ask questions, role play, help your child learn.
6. REWARD POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
It is important to reward positive behaviour, the behaviour you want to see, to reaffirm to the child the specific positive actions and to encourage them to continue to display these behaviours, use positive language or a reward system. ” I like how you are playing” or ” I like how you are eating” or ” I like your nice hands”.
7. STAY CALM
At times it can become frustrating your doing everything, and the behaviours are still there, you are tired, this is the time when you say to yourself “I NEED A BREAK”, follow through, take the break! It is important to regroup, take some time for yourself and when you are ready come back to the situation. Stay calm, lead by example and take breaks when necessary – see my quite humorous but true story/ post when I took a break in the parking lot of a large bustline shopping centre out of sheer desperation
I am so proud of Niam’s progress as a child, he keeps surprising
7. STAY CALM
At times it can become frustrating your doing everything, and the behaviours are still there, you are tired, this is the time when you say to yourself “I NEED A BREAK”, follow through, take the break! It is important to regroup, take some time for yourself and when you are ready come back to the situation. Stay calm, lead by example and take breaks when necessary – see my quite humorous but true story/ post when I took a break in the parking lot of a large bustline shopping centre out of sheer desperation – ” So I Lied – Kill Me!”