language, transitions, Uncategorized, Uncategorized, visual aids, visual schedules

Trouble with Transitions

This summer, I have been blessed with the opportunity to
work as a camp leader at a camp for children with special needs. We are
officially in our first week of camp and I absolutely love it! I love that camp
gives me an opportunity to work with these kiddos in environments I typically
wouldn’t be able to in the school setting (i.e. an animal farm, the pool,
etc.). Now I will admit that the first day of camp was rough for some of our
campers. They only spend half a day at camp but this was a brand new
environment that many of the kiddos haven’t been in over a year or ever if it
was their first time at camp.
One thing that stood out throughout the day was giving these
kiddos the tools they needed during transitions. I know transition time can be
one of the roughest times for kids at home, school, and/or out in the
community. This topic is what inspired my post for today.
Sometimes kiddos just need to take a break and adjust to
their new surroundings. This may mean giving your kiddo a moment to just
breathe before helping them through the next transition. I know many a times we
just want to get them from point A to point B but sometimes just letting them
sit for 30 seconds without saying or doing anything can really help. Just say to
your child, “Do you want to take a break?” and then revisit the topic of
transitioning after a little while.
Another tip is that you can never give too many warnings
that a transition is approaching. This means giving the child plenty of notice
BEFORE a transition begins to happen.
One of my favorite timers is the “Time Timer” which visually
shows the child when the time is all up. You can set the timer for your desired
amount of time. The desired amount of time is depicted as red on the timer and
it will slowly start to disappear as the time winds down. When using a visual
timer, it is always a good idea to draws your kiddos attention to it every once
in a while to remind them that the time has elapsed. I know “Time Timer” now
also makes an iphone/ipod/ipad app which is great if you are out and about.
New Time Timer Plus. N.d.
Photograph. Time Timer Plus. 09 July 2013. Web. 09 July 2013.

Another way to help provide warning is with a visual
schedule. I find that some kiddos like to see their day or a therapy session
mapped out. Visual schedules can range from using pictures on Boardmaker, words,
or even just pictures found on the internet. With a visual schedule, place what
activity will be happening first on the top and then work your way downward.
The Time Teller. N.d.
Photograph. SchKIDules. 09 July 2013. Web. 09 July 2013.

First- then boards are also a great tool! This is a way for
your kiddo to see what needs to happen before they can continue onto the next
thing. For example, I used this with a kiddo to show that first they needed to
hang into their swimsuit then after they did that they could do into the
swimming pool. There are also some great apps on the ipad for first-then
Click on this link to my Tpt store for the FREE download: First Then Board
Let’s not forget the tool that everyone always has with them
wherever they may be… words! Sometimes a kiddo just needs you to talk them
through what will be happening next. Now Speech Language Pathologists are known
for being chatty but sometimes less is more when talking kiddos through
transitions. Just simply remind them that after “A” is complete then it will be
time for “B”.
Transitions are definitely a rough time for many but with
practice and consistent use of these tools they will get easier. Hang in there
and stick with it! I promise it will pay off! Hope you are all having a great
week and thanks for checking out this post.

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