What Are Transitions And How To Use Them On Your Sensory Child?

What are transitions and how to Use them on your Sensory Child?

It’s time for dinner, honey. Aaaaaaaand — from zero to meltdown in five seconds. We’ve all been there, right? And with SPD kids, we’ve probably been there multiple times a day. Which is where transitions come into play. 

What are transitions and why do they matter?

During the course of a day, we all frequently need to change from one environment to another and from one activity to another. We stop doing one thing and adapt to doing another; i.e., disengage from reading; switch attention to dinner; re-focus on eating. Most of us accomplish this without really thinking about it. But for SPD children, it’s not that simple. Most sensory individuals have difficulty shifting from one task or place to another, because of difficulty adapting to the changing sensory input of the new situation, because of difficulty adapting to the changing routine, because of difficulty dealing with change in general.
The solution: to give our SPD children as much of what they need — calming consistency, predictable routines, and familiar structure — as possible.

How do I do this?

Better transitions. Transitions can be predictable. Disruptions aren’t. And what isn’t predictable, is scary! So you need to make transitions become predictable and routine.

I need a plan…

Your game plan is to develop and use transition strategies to:
         – Make your sensory child’s transition time shorter
         – Make her transition behavior more appropriate
         – Make his participation in the new activity more successful
         – Make your “traffic directing” role less important

When do I use transition strategies?

Before transitions.
During transitions.
And after transitions.

Why do transition strategies work?

The strategies directly address your sensory child’s verbal, auditory, and visual senses, giving her the security and predictability she is missing during a transition. That’s why it’s good to keep a variety of transition strategies in your backpack to ward off trouble if the situation starts heading south.                           

What sorts of strategies can I use to achieve smooth transitions? 

I’ve divided transition strategies into five basic categories: Preparation, Rituals, Routines, Management, and Behavioral. An overview of each category is below and specific strategies for each will follow in the next two blog posts.

Transition Preparation strategies

You’ll use preparation strategies before a transition, to preview the transition for your sensory child and prepare him for what comes next. That way, you familiarize her with the next situation before moving her into it. In the next post, you’ll find examples of various preparation strategies, such as visual charts and verbal previews.

Transition Rituals strategies

If a transition is accompanied by familiar rituals, the transition itself becomes familiar and thus easier for your sensory child. So you want to create a set of rituals that you and your child will follow before and during each transition. You’re constructing a framework of familiarity and comfort. In the next post, you’ll find examples of visual, cognitive, auditory, and tactile rituals.

Transition Routines strategies

If the same things happen in the same way every day, sensory children feel secure and calm. So you want to create consistent, predictable, familiar routines for the transitions that happen every day, and stick to these routines as closely as you can. In the next post, you’ll find examples of some routines you can start with. 

Transition Management strategies

You need to be in control of the transition in order to make it go smoothly; it doesn’t just happen organically. In the post after next, you’ll find examples of advance and in-the-moment strategies you can use to make transitions work successfully for both you and your sensory child.

Transition/Behavioral strategies

There is some overlap between the strategies you use to help your child manage transitions and the strategies you use to help your child manage his behavior — a sensory child who is overwhelmed by a transition is likely to melt down or otherwise act out. In the post after next, you’ll find examples of simple strategies that work for transitions as well as for behavior modification and management.

All the best,

Don't want to miss a Thing? 

Follow us on InstagramFacebookYoutube, and Pinterest to get updates and stay in the loop! 

Other Post You May be Interested in: 



Copyright © 2018 JumpTherapy. All rights reserved.