If you know a change is coming up try and begin preparation early.
Talk about what will happen;
- Use whatever communication style works best for your child or young person. You might use pictures, photos or objects to help them understand.
- Repeat the ‘story’ of the change to come often, so your child or young person has time to get used to the idea.
- Use a calendar and cross the days off until a big change will happen. This can help time has to passing make more sense.
- Write a social story – breaking the story of what will happen into small parts. Add photos and pictures too. Find out more about writing a social story *here*.
- Keep repeating the story as often as they might need to begin to know what is going to happen.
You may have worries and anxieties about the change and how your child or young person will cope. Talk to friends and family about your feelings. Try not to let your child overhear your worries. Children and young people are very tuned in to their parents feelings. If you are able to be positive about the change in front of them it will help them feel less worried.
If your child / young person is moving between settings you could;
- Talk to those who have been working with your child and ask how they will share information with the new team working with your child.
- Make contact with the new team. You know your child best. Share their likes, dislikes, things they enjoy and things that make them worried or overwhelmed.
- You and your child may be able to have visits to new nurseries, schools or services.
Once your child has made the move to the new experience - help them adjust by;
- Giving lots of praise and encouragement.
- Keep to routines and boundaries at home so that they get plenty of rest and feel secure.
- Ask for feedback on how things are going at the new placement. Share any concerns you or your child have.
- Let them know if you notice any changes in the way your child is behaving at home.
- Praise your child for coping with a new place and people.
Who Can Help?
You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
The Patient Activation Measure (PAM) Health Questionnaire will help you to think about your knowledge, skills and confidence in understanding and supporting your baby or child’s health. The results of this can help us, to support you, in setting goals and priorities in a way that is right for you and your family. On completion of the questions you will be signposted to some self care resources which are tailored to your responses. This will help you to take steps to improve your family's health and wellbeing. *Click Here* to find out more.