Transitioning Tips for the Routine-Oriented

Posted byNikita Posted onAugust 15, 2023 Comments0

Meet Billy. Billy has trouble with changes in routine.

He likes things to be the same every day, and he gets upset when things are different. For example, if Billy’s parents have to take him to a new doctor’s office, he might cry or throw a tantrum. He might also have trouble sleeping or eating if his routine is disrupted.


Meet Emma. Emma also struggles when faced with changes in her routine.

Every day, she relies on the predictability of her established schedule to navigate her world with a sense of comfort and stability. However, unexpected changes overwhelm and disorient Emma. Simple disruptions like a substitute teacher or a change in lunchtime could cause her anxiety to soar. Transitions, whether big or small, present a significant challenge for Emma, as she craves the familiar rhythm and predictability that her routine provided.

If you have a Billy or an Emma, you may be looking for some strategies to help them cope with changes.

Billy and Emma are both very routine-oriented. This means that you prefer to have a set schedule and stick to it as much as possible. You may find it difficult to adjust to sudden changes in your routine, and you may feel more comfortable and productive when you know what to expect.


There are many benefits to being routine-oriented, including:

  • Increased productivity: With a set routine, you can focus on getting things done without wasting time making decisions about what to do next.
  • Reduced stress: Knowing what to expect can help you feel more in control and less stressed.
  • Improved sleep: Routine can help you establish a regular sleep schedule, which can improve your overall health and well-being.
  • Increased happiness: Routine can help you feel more grounded and less anxious.

Transitioning can be challenging for routine-oriented individuals. Changes to their routine can be unsettling.

How to help transition smoothly:

  1. Maintain structure and routine as much as possible: Especially when transitioning to a new situation. This can help individuals feel more secure and comfortable.
  2. Prepare in advance: Give individuals as much advance notice as possible about upcoming transitions, and help them prepare for changes by explaining what will happen, what to expect, and what they can do to cope.
  3. Use visual aids: Schedules, calendars, and pictures can be helpful for individuals, as they provide a clear and concrete representation of the changes that are taking place.
  4. Practice new routines: Practicing new routines before they become part of the regular routine can help individuals become more familiar and comfortable with them.
  5. Gradual transitions: Gradual transitions can help individuals adjust more easily to changes in their routine. For example, if transitioning from one school to another, consider starting with a few half-days before moving on to full days.
  6. Consistency: This can help individuals feel more secure and in control.
  7. Encourage independence: Encourage individuals to be as independent as possible, as this can help them feel more confident and empowered.
  8. Provide support: Be there to support individuals as they transition, and be understanding and patient as they adjust.
  9. Teach coping strategies: A fun activity like the Detour Game can help learn and practice coping strategies.

Remember, everyone transitions differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s important to work with the individual and tailor the transition process to their specific needs and preferences


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