How Children Are Able To Tolerate Transitions?
Occupational therapists at TEAM 4 Kids often assess how children are able to tolerate transitions. This can refer to transitioning or moving, between environments or activities. When we transition, we are ending one activity and starting a new one; or we are leaving one place to travel to another. Some children have difficulty transitioning between tasks, especially when that involves ending a preferred activity before the child is ready (such as a toy or game) or starting a non-preferred activity (e.g., brushing their teeth or going to the dentist).
In order to make transitions easier, occupational therapists like to use strategies such as visual or written schedules, visual timers, and auditory cues. Visual schedules and timers give children an opportunity to see what is going to happen or see when an activity is going to end, which can help prepare them for a transition. For younger kids, sometimes songs can be great auditory cues to help children prepare for and engage in transitions. For example, the “clean-up” song can be a great way to help kids transition between one task and another by encouraging them to put away whatever item/s are out.