Wednesday, June 19, 2013

10 Tips for Transitions

Do you have students who have difficulty transitioning from one activity to another?  Maybe they have a hard time transitioning from the classroom to the therapy room. 

Here are some tips to help make transitions easier:

1.  Establish a consistent schedule or routine for the student to follow.  Provide visual picture symbols if necessary for the student to follow. 
2.  Allow the student enough time to experience the activity before moving on to the next activity.
3.  Make sure the student understands what the directions are or what is expected of him/her.  Some students will need to be taught how to follow the routine.  This takes practice and time.
4.  Provide verbal and physical cues that a transition is approaching.  There are plenty of visual timers that can be used to provide warnings for transitions. 
5.  Modify schedules to have the least amount of transitions possible.  For example, if a student is already out of class to go to the nurse or another related service it may be a good time to schedule therapy to reduce the number of transitions in and out of the classroom.  Another option would be to provide push in therapy services to avoid transitioning in and out of the room.
6.  Sing songs or chants to signal transitions.  Use the same songs each time so children can anticipate what is to happen next.
7.  Provide feedback about transitions.  If a student does a good job transitioning explain to him/her what they did correct.  If changes need to be made offer suggestions of how to improve the transition the next time.
8.  As the student's skills improve during transitions, encourage the student to transition independently.
9.  Keep it simple with directions for the transition.  One or two step motor commands should be effective and concise.
10.  Provide positive reinforcement for other students who complete transitions successfully.  Students will learn from each other and model other behaviors.

Check out Cut and Paste Sensory Diet to use picture symbols for sensory diet activities during transitions.

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