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Switching tasks (transitioning)

Transitioning is when a person moves from one task to another or from one room to another. Some children can find it difficult to settle or cope with these transitions.

If your child is struggling with transitioning, you’ll notice that they:

  • Become fidgety and move around a lot
  • Have poor concentration and attention
  • Have an inability to end a task or start a new one
  • Are unable to find the things they need
  • Talk more or go silent
  • Display signs of frustration

There are a number of techniques you can use to help your child settle into new tasks or environments, including:

  • Doing short bursts of movement activities to help them prepare for a longer task and cope with the change between activities or room
  • Using a timetable of activities for the day so there are no surprises
  • Carrying a backpack filled with books as this kind of pressure can have a calming and organising effect on them
  • Doing pushing or pulling activities, e.g. tug of war, wall or chair push-ups to calm their frustrations
  • Squeezing fidget toys when they move between tasks and rooms

If you’ve tried all of these techniques and you’re still not seeing any improvement after three months, please do speak to your health visitor or GP.

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