Helping Your Child Leave a Location

a child reading and not wanting to leave

Many children have daily issues moving from room to room or between locations. In the ABA world, we refer to this as a transition. For parents, finding a way to get their child to transition can be very stressful and seem impossible. For many children, this can be a result of a last-minute change. Circle City ABA is here for families and offers the following tips to help your child leave a location.

Tell them ahead of time.

There are ways to make transitions more manageable for your child so they are more willing to follow through. The key ingredient needed to make transitioning easier is to tell your child ahead of time that they will be moving locations. Telling them where they are going next is also helpful.

For simple transitions, tell your child a few minutes before they will be moving. This could be one reminder or multiple. For example: “Johnny, we are going to the living room in three minutes.” For some children, that may be too far in the future, and they may need another reminder one minute or 30 seconds before the transition.

Prepare for the transition.

For some children, hearing you state when they are transitioning may not be enough to prepare them. If your child is still having difficulty transitioning after you have verbally told them beforehand, they may need a visual reminder. For these children, a visual timer may be helpful.

Use a visual timer.

A visual timer is simply anything they can watch the time decrease with an alert at the end. You can use the timer on your phone, the kitchen timer, or a timer on a watch. The most important aspect is that they can watch it tick, or if it is digital, watch it decrease and have an alert at the end.

To utilize this method, you would state: “Johnny, in three minutes, we are going to _____.” You will then set the timer and place it in an easily visible area to your child.

Give them options.

A final recommendation is to give your child options as frequently as possible. Understandably, there are many instances when you cannot provide your child with a choice. But when it is an option, it is necessary to do so. For example, when going to a restaurant, you could give your child a choice between two restaurants and go to their chosen place.

When at home, you could give your child a choice between playing in the living room or playing in their room. Regardless of where you are transitioning, these simple steps should drastically help improve time and ease of transition.

Keep in mind that learning takes time! Children are learning that you are giving them new cues, which will take time to adjust and understand. With these helpful tips, you can help your child learn how to leave a location. And remember, Circle City ABA is here for your family. 

About Circle City ABA

Circle City ABA passionately nurtures progress through play with ABA therapy. We develop programs and services specifically designed for each child. We’ll work together to define success and help your child achieve it. Contact our admissions team for more information on our services and how we can support you and your child.

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About the Author

Heather de Jong

Heather de Jong is an accomplished Marketing & Communications Manager known for her expertise in the I/DD field. With a deep passion for empowering individuals with disabilities, Heather leverages her expertise in marketing and communications to raise awareness about the importance of ABA therapy in improving the lives of children on the autism spectrum.

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Circle City ABA specializes in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism and related conditions. Circle City ABA is a destination where play meets progress and our programs are designed with each child in mind.

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