Preparing for a Smooth Transition
How Do I Prepare My Child for a Smooth Transition?
Here are some ways you can help your child during the transition process:
- Learn about what will be the same and what will be different in your child’s experience.
- Identify what strengths your child has that you think will contribute to the transition and share those with the people who will be involved.
- Identify areas where your child may need additional support and share your ideas for what might help your child to succeed.
Transition skills have a lot to do with your child’s unique personality:
- How easily your child warms up to new people, places and things
- How easily your child adapts to change, including shifting from one activity or setting to another
- How sensitive your child is to sights, sounds, and other sensory input
- Your child’s general mood (happy, sad)
- Whether your child is easy going or gets frustrated easily
- Your child’s activity level (very busy, or not)
- How persistent your child is at getting what he or she wants, or avoiding tasks and activities they don’t like
- Your child’s attention to different activities, people and places
In addition, your child’s transition will be influenced by his or her developmental abilities or skills. Think about these areas and share what you see as your child’s strengths and areas of need with your Imagine! service coordinator as a part of the transition planning process:
Communication skills—how does your child understand and use words, signs, and/or pictures or other means to communicate?
Social skills—how does your child interact and get along with others; how comfortable is your child in larger groups of children?
Self-care skills—how does your child take care of his or her own daily living needs, such as eating, toileting, washing, and dressing?
Motor skills—how can your child get around the classroom, playground, etc.; how well can your child use his or her hands to do things?
Learning skills—how easily does your child learn; does your child learn by watching others, trying things on his or her own, listening to directions, etc.?
Considering some of your child’s characteristics outlined above can help you identify areas where additional support may be needed. These may include:
- Being in a group social setting with children of different ages
- Using a new form of transportation such as a van or bus
- Getting used to new friends, new teachers, or a new building
- Having naptime in a new place
- Being away from home for a longer period of time or for more days each week
- Doing more things independently
- Being separated from you
Any ideas you have about these areas of change can be included in your transition plan so that the process is as smooth as possible.
How do I Prepare My Family for a Smooth Transition?
When your child moves from the Early Intervention Colorado program, there will also be some changes for you and your family. The transition period is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and get information about how the new program or setting will be different from what you and your child have experienced up until now. Remember, you are leaving the Early Intervention Colorado program because your child has achieved a milestone.
You may have mixed feelings about your child’s transition, and feel both anxious and hopeful. You may have questions, such as: “Will my child fit in?”, or “Will my child be able to do what everyone else is doing?” These are questions that you should talk about with your Imagine! service coordinator, early intervention providers and others that are helping you and your child during the transition process. While it is not uncommon for change to be a challenge, it is helpful to remember that this is a normal and exciting part of childhood. Take time to celebrate this next step in your child’s journey!