Transitions just plain suck… When the boys come home from visiting their Mom, they often struggle for the next day or so.
What do I mean by transition?
Essentially, I’m referring to a period of adjustment the boys go through upon moving from one environment to another. It’s very common with kids on the Autism Spectrum.
It basically amounts to change and kids with Autism, generally don’t do well with change.
In this particular case, I’m referring to the period of adjustment the boys go through upon returning home from a visit with their Mom.
I’ve heard from countless parents that their kids experience the same thing when they return home from visiting the other parent for a period of time.
While the child having a bad visit can certainly lead to problems upon returning home, issues with transition cam occur, even if the child has the best visit ever.
It’s important to understand that issues with transition do not mean the other parent is doing something wrong.
Some of the struggles faced during a transition
When I talk about a transition being difficult for my kids, I know this because I tend to see behavioral problems for the day or so following their visit.
In regards to my kids, even when they have a great visit with their Mom, they will come home and crash.
This means that I will usually see things like meltdowns, emotional outbursts, extremely low thresholds for frustration, problems sleeping, loss of appetite and a general grouchiness that can last for a couple of days.
I’ve always linked this in part to overstimulation as well.
There’s a great deal of excitement involved with seeing the other parent. Visits can be emotionally charged for a number of reasons but those reasons really don’t matter because at the end of the day, it all leads to the child becoming overstimulated.
As many of us know, the road to a meltdown is paved in overstimulation.
How to make this period of adjustment easier
There are things you can do that can sorta smooth out these transitions and make the adjustment easier but some period of transition is probably inevitable.
One of the most important things one can do to make these changes easier and the period of adjustment or transition less jarring, is to ensure that both parents provide the kids with consistency.
This means that as much as possible, the routine and structure must remain the same across households.
It’s not always easy because in many cases, one parent sees the kids less often, so they may want to focus more on doing things together. That’s completely understandable and even positive.
At the same time however, that can often lead down a path that takes them away from the structure and routine needed to insure that consistency.
This is something that all parties involved must really commit to and work together on because the main goal should always focus on what’s best for the kids. This will always be easier if the parents are working together.
It’s also worth noting that these transitional problems can sometimes create tension between parents because one parent will typically be the one that has to deal with these problems, while the other simply won’t see them.
This is because generally speaking, the transitional challenges occur after the child returns home. Whichever household the child calls home, will likely be the one these problems occur in….
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