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Small or big transitions can often halt progress and create excessive behavioral outbursts. Parents and teachers report difficulty moving their student or child from one activity to the next. The behavior that follows takes time to regulate and get refocused. There are several tips to help with this process.

  1. Always use a visual schedule to advise the child about the day.

  2. Use a first-then board to help the child know that he will do X first followed by Y.

  3. Use a token to take to the next location or transition and have the child put it in a cup or bank at that location.

  4. Give the child a job to take the fear away from changing locations to the job itself. For example, have the child carry an object needed at the next location (a ball to PE, a scooter to recess, a roll of paper to art).

Marcia L. Braden, PhD. is a licensed psychologist with a clinical practice specializing in children and adolescents. She is a former teacher with experience teaching general and special education.