Many parents share a common challenge of getting out the door with young children. This can be a hard transition! There may be a variety of solutions based on your family structure, your child’s language understanding, and their motor ability. However, my recommendations typically have the common thread of making the expectations clearer by adding visual supports.
Early language learners may benefit from you showing or giving them their shoes to help them understand that it is time to go. Yet some parents noticed frustration from their children who thought they could just play outside, not understanding there was another destination. Introducing a picture of the family car or school bus can help make this easier to understand with continued use.
For older children, a visual sequence can be beneficial to increase their understanding of “getting ready to go” and improve their independence with finishing these tasks. I recently created a
visual schedule for our Autism Workshops. I stressed to the caregivers that posting a visual will not magically make getting out the door quicker and easier right away. Parents may need to “teach to the schedule,” walking their child through it many times before it becomes routine. With time and practice, having a visual posting of expectations and seeing the sequence laid out has been beneficial for many.
– Tamara Pogin, M.A., CCC-SLP