Life Stage Transitions
Our lives are full of changes and we all know how hard change can be! For some children and adults, familiar places, people and routines are very important and any changes to this can be catastrophic. The team at GBSS can support people to plan for change, develop strategies to deal with the emotions that change can bring, and to help people learn through their successes.
Transition from home to Kindy/Daycare/school
Moving away from the familiarity and safety of home and family can be daunting - separating from parents or carers can be tough for all kids! The GBSS team help with photos and social stories to support learning about the new place, strategies for gradual movement into the new environment, information to new people to aid understanding and planning and positive rewards for the behaviour we want!
Transition between classes and years at primary school
Taking the unknown factor out of a new situation can make it easier to cope with. For example, taking photos of the school, new classroom and teacher can give the child time to absorb the changes and for things to seem more familiar. A book can be developed with the child using pictures or symbols, so that the child knows what is expected at school. Visual schedules make it easy to follow what comes next and behaviour strips can help with what to do when. It is also important to plan for success, so the therapy team can liaise with parents and teachers to find a calm down spot for a child who gets overwhelmed or some sensory tools to keep calm in class.
Transition to High school
The movement to High school coincides with puberty – a tricky time for everyone. Friendships and relationships are important here and high school demands more independence of the students. Kids are also coping with a number of teachers, different classrooms and navigating a bigger area…challenging! The Therapy team can help by, for example, simplifying and illustrating timetables, using visuals to help kids learn about their teachers and classmates and using social stories to rehearse what is expected at school. Success builds success, so support can be given to teachers and students to shape behaviour and learning and ensure participation.
Transition from school to post school activities or work
Leaving school is a milestone for everyone. Planning for post school life is important and should start well before the end of school. It should take into account a person’s abilities and interests as well as what is available in the community. Building on work experience and community access can help plan for life after school. The therapy team can support students to build their life and work skills through such things as work manuals and social stories. The team can also support work and leisure environments to cater for the needs of their worker with special needs.