Transitions Outside of the Playroom
FROM BECKY: I recently had a question from an amazing Son-Rise Mom who is having some challenges outside of the playroom with transitions in her and her child’s daily routine (e.g. taking her other child to school, running errands, etc). Of course in an ideal world, the answer is to have volunteers in the playroom with your Son-Rise child while you get these things done (I have some blogs on getting volunteers coming soon so watch this space). Until this happens, here are some helpful things to keep in mind.
1) Our children need control and predictability! If they didn’t then they wouldn’t spend a large part of their day doing repetitious and exclusive behaviors. In an unpredictable world, they are seeking ways to make the things feel more safe and maneagable. One way we can help make things easier for our them is to have a printed or written schedule or calendar.
If we know that we are doing the school run, or need to pick up some items from the grocery store, decide in the morning what time those things will occur and then put together a simple schedule with times (perhaps even a picture of a clock next to it if). Show your child the schedule in the morning so that they know what’s going to take place later. Stick it to the wall, of the playroom or on the fridge so they can see it throughout the day.
Often we can suddenly spring these things on our children, when they are busy engrossed in something else and we are suddenly putting their coat on and herding them out of the door. If they know what’s coming in advance then they will have some time to prepare their sensitive sensory systems for the transition.
2) Use plenty of explanations! We need to explain more thoroughly, more often and more exaggeratedly with our special children than with our Neuro-Typical children. Along with having processing delays and their need for things to be predictable, the more we can let them know what’s coming, the more they will be open to the change. Explain three times throughout the morning where you are going to go, what time and exactly what will happen, the more detailed the better.
3) Plan ahead. Ask yourself “Do I really need this loaf of bread today?” If things can wait, then put them off until your partner comes home, or ask a family member to watch the kids while you go alone. Even having your special child around the house and not in the playroom will be more useful to them and less distracting.
More coming soon!