Transition Helpers

Today is Works for Me Wednesday – backwards edition.  That is when I ask a question & let the wisdom of my readers take over, instead of filling you with my weird hints & tips.

If you read my blog you’ll already know that we are now at the day before Kindergarten starts.  My son, who has Autism, has an incredibly difficult time with transitions.  He spent the entire weekend picking fights, whining, crying, throwing fits, all because he is so excited about going to Kindergarten, yet can’t quite express all that emotion.

We all had a meltdown on Monday & it got me to thinking – this ain’t workin’.

What works for your kids?  How do you make waiting and exciting transition easier?  I am at my wits end & willing to try anything!

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4 thoughts on “Transition Helpers

  1. My son has similar problems during transitions. When he was little it was best not to announce any changes when possible. That alone cut the problems down to something more manageable. Keeping to an inflexible routine also helped. Familiar foods. Less stimulation than usual.

    I’ve been there–I know how frustrating it is!

  2. Been there, done that…. our boy needs to know everything. For example he’d ask what we were doing today, I say I have to go to the post office, the grocery store and Target. I then had to adhere to going first to the post office, then to the grocery store and then to Target. If we varied that plan FREAK OUT.

    We now use code words. We do “errands”, we go on “fun trips” we go on “vacation”. That way his brain doesn’t get wrapped up in the schedule of the activity. He knows that errands mean going several places around town, it doesn’t matter the order. Fun trips are short day trips. It doesn’t matter where we go, he knows that he’s been on fun trips before and they may take longer but he’ll sleep at home tonight. Vacations are anything involving an overnight stay. He knows he may not be home tonight, but he’ll return home shortly.

    This takes away the pressure of keeping the secret of our plans, or someone spilling the beans that we’re going somewhere. If he overhears something like we’re going to Vegas, he’ll ask whether it’s a fun trip of a vacation.

    We’ve dealt with panic attacks and psychotic breaks even when using this system, but they are few and far between, still haven’t figured out how to lessen the anxiety of doing something the first time, but we only have to deal with it once. We practice a lot of transitions too.

    We had to start with waking up and going to sleep. He woke up screaming every day for the first 18 months he lived with us, it took awhile, but practice practice practice.

    With school we drive by it several times, then we get out in the parking lot, then the next time we go up to the building. This process may take weeks, but if you as the parent know something is coming then 1/2 hour a day for a month or six weeks doesn’t seem like much if you can avoid the panic attacks.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Wow, I can’t imagine dealing with autism on top of all the transitions that kids naturally go through. I have no tips for you there, sorry! I only have 9 months worth of parenting experience so far!

    Just wanted to thank you for commenting on my post about giving my son a sippy cup- I tried without the valve today, and it definitely worked better. We will keep trying. 🙂 Thanks again!

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