For kids with diverse learning needs, transitions can be tough! Here are some tips to ease frustrations, anxieties, and other difficulties changing from one task or time to another.
- Set up a schedule including transition times. Make it a visual schedule for the child. When the child can physically see their schedule for the day, they are prepared for transitions before they happen.
- Cultivate consistency following the same routines and schedules which will help reduce the child’s stress during transitions.
- Give kids transition warnings verbally and visually to let the child know it is time, or almost time, to move to another activity. For example, tell the child, “Five minutes until snack” or set a timer to go off after five minutes. Allow them time to process and do not rush the transition.
- Provide breaks throughout the day to support their regulatory needs such as movement or hydration. Address any sensory or emotional needs to lessen stress during transitions.
- Offer a preferred toy or treat following an activity to redirect their stress and provide positive reinforcement.
- Stay positive! Transitions can be rough for children. Becoming frustrated can only make the transition more difficult if the child begins to mirror your emotions. By remaining calm and positive, you will be modeling this attitude to the child. Provide specific positive feedback after transitions!