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 We all know transitions can be one of the most difficult skills for a child to learn. Sometimes all the tips and strategies can help but still the problem persists. That’s when a bag of tricks can help the parent or the educator. Mind you, this is not a permanent solution and needs to change frequently so the child does not become fixated on one specific tool and eventually it should be faded altogether.

So what is in it? The transition tools can start with small objects to hold, or even small fidgets to help provide some sensory solutions-something to squeeze and manipulate. A child can be helped with the directions of entering or exiting a room by being given the instruction to carry a heavy bag to and from another location. The weight actually can help with transition anxiety by addressing their proprioceptive processing. Avoid using food as a motivator as this may lead to other control/behavior issues that may become challenging to manage. Sometimes a canvas bag in the car can help house the tools, especially in the variety of a summer schedule, or a clear box (easily visible) in the classroom for student use. The student can be instructed eventually to choose what works for them and then they will begin to understand their own needs during transition. Eventually the objects fade and we jingle the keys in our pocket, chew some gum, and grab our purse and are set for the day. Transition’s bags of tricks are good for young and old alike. Have fun creating and discovering what works for you.

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