Strategy #1......A visual timer helps to prepare the child to mentally shift. We know that challenges with transitioning is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder. I simply use the digital timer on my phone. I typically give my kids 2 minutes and this is usually sufficient for some kids.
Strategy #2.....Exchanging an item with the child helps to prepare them to physically shift. Example: Let’s say your child is in a swing and don’t want to stop swinging. At that time, you present another preferred activity or item to coax them to transition.
Strategy #3.....A vibrating item helps the child to mentally shift. Our kids become so engrossed in their activities that they become experts with tuning you out. Even though you’ve been talking to them for the past 5 minutes about stopping their activity they really weren’t listening. They were hearing you but they weren’t listening. So when you try to transition them it’s too jarring for them and then they proceed to have a tantrum or even worse a meltdown. See how effective a vibrating item can be for transitioning: https://youtu.be/E1rGV_yulDU
Strategy #4.....Use music to help your child transition. I don’t play anything elaborate I just sing….”Clean up, clean up everybody everywhere, clean up clean up everybody do your share”.
Strategy #5.....The Brushing Protocol helps with transitioning. Whenever I evaluate a child, I ask the parent if their child has challenges with sleeping, do they have lots of tantrums, are they picky eaters. The Brushing Protocol really helps with all of these behaviors. When you think about sleeping, that involves transitioning. You segue (move without interruption) from an awake state to a sleep state. You may have a child that has challenges staying asleep. That’s still transition because as we sleep we are shifting from a light sleep to a deeper sleep known as the REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement Sleep. See how the Brushing Protocol is implemented: https://youtu.be/LCca371kwxU
It's not unusual for a child to need more than one of these strategies. The Brushing Protocol will need to be implemented by your child's OT.