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Eight Strategies to Support Positive Transitions for Children with Autism

  1. Provide a visual schedule - Include a daily visual schedule as part of your child's daily routine to help prepare them for transitions before they occur. Visual schedules provide your child with a plan for the day.

  2. Reduce the number of transitions-plan your child's day to reduce the number of transitions as much as possible.

  3. Consistency and Predictability-follow the same routine, patterns, driving routes, etc. The consistency and predictability will lessen the stress during transitions.

  4. Slow Down- do not rush your child, give them transition warnings using verbal and visual supports and then lots of time to process and come to the transition when they are ready.

  5. Offer a Break-build in short breaks throughout the child's day to support their regulatory needs (movement, water, deep pressure). Addressing their sensory and emotional needs will lessen the stress during transitions.

  6. Use Redirection-use the child's affinity to engage them just before a transition. This offers redirection away from the anxiety and stress of the transition focusing instead on something enjoyable.

  7. Provide a Transition Object-carrying a transition object can lessen stress during a transition. Encourage your child to choose something to bring from home and something they carry with them throughout the day.

  8. Dangle a Carrot-offer your child rewards following an activity to help with the transition. Offering your child, a preferred toy or treat redirects their focus during the stress of a transition. It also helps create positive emotional memories around transitions.

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