In my opinion, everybody has some struggle with transitions, even adults. But for kids, it is usually even harder. Add to that a special need like some sensory issues or separation anxiety and transitions may become a constant battle. These children may not understand the flow of a day, may become frustrated at the thought of going to school instead of the pool, or may have trouble grasping the days of the week. My son Blake is one of those kids, except he hides it well, until well …. he doesn’t. For us, that means meltdowns and some aggression. In my quest to make his life easier and his body more relaxed and calm on a daily basis, I decided we needed some transition boards. I searched and searched and could not I find something that would work for us and so the logical solution, head to the craft store and work it out myself.
We needed something with pictures and words, something with interchangeable activities, and for me something I could stand to look at everyday.
First I needed a board to help him understand which days of the week he would be going to preschool. I found all these items at the craft store (the chalkboard clothespins were a score in the dollar bins) and hot glued away. I printed clip art pictures that I found by the good ole’ standby Google. Just search for whatever activity or place you are looking for, choose the pictures in Google’s image search, then drag them to a blank document and print. I have a laminator I got for 20 bucks at Costco, so I just ran the printed images through my laminator. You could also take them to a printing store and have them do it, buy laminating sheets, or if worst comes to worst just cover the pictures in tape. I use the clothespins to hold the little pictures in place that way the are easily interchangeable.
We also needed a board to help with daily transitions. I used the same process for that board, you know so they matched. This way in the morning Blake and I go over together what we have planned for the day and he can put up some items he would like to do if that fits in the day (he will always pick the pool.)
I hung these with command hooks, you know what command hooks are right?! The best things ever, they are removable, reusable hooks that come in all shapes and sizes. I love them! You can see an example in the top picture. I keep these boards on a low side cabinet so he can look at them closely and refer to them as needed.
Next up I will share our incentive program (sounds like a car dealership huh?)