Transition Tips for Students with Autism


It's no secret that people on the autism spectrum don't like change. Here are a few techniques that when used consistently can help reduce anxiety and give a sense of predictability to transitions.

Use a Timer  

Time is an abstract concept that can be difficult for your autistic students to understand. Using a timer gives students a visual of how much time is left before a transition. It can also help to keep some students on task for projects they don't like, because they can see it has an end. Some timers, like the Time Timer give an additional visual of the countdown of time.

Allow adequate time for the transition. 

No one likes to be rushed. Especially when introducing new routines at school allow adequate time for autistic students to process the transition and move on to the next activity.

Provide a transition object. 

Sometimes carrying a familiar object through each transition can add a sense of predictability and comfort to the transition. The student can either keep the object with them throughout the day, or go get the object after they have finished a project to move with them to the next activity. Often small fidgets work well.

Learning to transition is a vital skill that doesn't have to cause anxiety. We hope these tips are helpful to you!