Supporting Transitions

Guest Authored By Claire M, OTR/L

Many of our kids struggle with transitions: between activities, between environments, between caregivers. Transitions are often stressful and unpredictable, both for the child and the caregiver. The following are some tips and ideas for supporting transitions that occur in your child’s daily life. 

  • Timersthe timer in your iPhone Clock app is your friend! Timers help children to visualize the passage of time and help make the transition feel less surprising. There are also plenty of timer apps out there! Find one your child especially likes: there are visual timers, timers that make fun sounds, timers with music​, and so much more! 
  • Visual schedules​: for children who especially benefit from visual supports, visual schedules can be helpful during transitions. Creating a visual schedule makes a child’s daily routine predictable and illustrates clear starts and ends to activities. Older children can help to create the visual schedule in order to increase their familiarity with it and to make it extra personalized! 
  • Preparation and social stories: talk to your child about exactly what will happen before, during, and after the transition. Make sure to use clear, simple language, and take time to process any big emotions that may come up during preparation. Using a social story is a simple way to help children prepare for big transitions using both words and visuals.  

  • Clear language: as mentioned above, using clear and concise language is important when supporting our kiddos in transitions. “First, then” language is a useful option that clearly states the order of events. For example, “first Legos, then bath.” Remembering this format helps us grown-ups slow down and minimize our language during stressful transition periods! 
  • Use a transitional object: many children have a special toy, blanket, or item that they like to bring with them during transitions between activities and environments. This item acts as a constant during times of change or confusion. Carrying a transitional item can help kiddos feel safe moving from one activity or environment to the next. As children become more used to moving between activities and spaces, they may rely their transitional item less and less. 
  • Make it silly! When in doubt, make the transition silly and fun! Walk like a robot, sing a song together, play fun music, hop on one foot. Sometimes a little bit of silliness is all it takes to get from point A to point B!

Eyas Landing is a therapy clinic with a mission to provide evidence-based and family-centered therapy services for children, adolescents, and their families. The primary goal is to deliver relationship-based interventions within the most natural environments and to empower families to reach their full potential. To achieve this goal, our highly educated, compassionate staff dedicates time and expertise to create experiences that maximize therapeutic outcomes. The strength, determination, and perseverance of our clients are evident as they succeed in therapy, and ultimately in their daily lives.

Eyas Landing offers a wide range of comprehensive services including Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, ABA Therapy, Social Work, Family Therapy, and Neuropsych testing. Services are provided throughout the Chicagoland area via Telehealth, In-Home, and in our state of the art clinic.

Want to learn more or you have a specific question? Feel free to connect with us here!