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Transition Time


in New York always brings with it a certain amount of excitement and a feeling of opportunity. As the city slowly edges into winter you can almost feel the sense of urgency of everyone trying to get in some last-gasps of outside playtime before the snow and icy cold weather hit. I find this time of transition invigorating, however times of transition are not fun for everyone. For those who find peace in routine, transitions can be unsettling at best and downright disruptive at worst.

Articulating this difficulty and dislike for transitions can be hard for adults, let alone children (especially children with communication disabilities). It’s important to be aware of all the many transitions that occur in our daily lives and the demands these transitions hold.

I like to look at transitions in four categories:

1. Seasonal: Changes in temperature and daylight.

2. Daily: the big transition between daily activities (going from school, to afterschool, to home)

3. Small: The transitions between activities within our daily routines (our morning routine, or transitioning between classes at school)

4. Micro: The transitions within transitions. Switching from math class to art class may be hard because of the “gear switch”, but if you have difficulty with micro transitions you may also have difficulty with the transition itself because it holds so many demands. The switch in class also means you have to: clean up, keep a quiet mouth, line up, look at the teacher, follow a line leader… etc. Each of these small changes is yet another transition in the larger transition to change class.

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