Are You Ready for Back to School?

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So many chores for parents as the school year begins: supply lists a mile long, new clothing, fall activities, and the sometimes challenging and puzzling preparation for a new classroom. Many times our children enjoy the idea of going back to school. At school there is a routine and schedule which is typically predictable and creates a safe harbor for our kids. It is important for our children to feel safe and know the layout.

  • Tip 1:  Take photos and create a photo book, slide show, or social story of the school, classroom, teacher/s, lunch room, etc. Becoming familiar with the environment is crucial. You can ask the teacher for photos or go to the school and take your own.
  • Tip 2: Create a quick reference one page document for the staff at school – Important Info All About …
    Things I usually include:

    • will respond to redirection sometimes responds negatively to “No,” may be best to save for emergency situations or bigger issues. It is good to offer choices.
    • may get stuck on an activity and need extra time to transition to the next one
    • uses visual schedules and written schedules at home and school
    • Time Timer will help with this as well
    • Don’t be afraid to include ways to address sensory breaks too, such as “A quick walk down to the hall with some books to deliver is a good way to calm Tom when overwhelmed.”
  • Tip 3: If the child has a designated staff or teacher’s aide for assistance, familiarize your child with the individual working with him. If not, make sure your child’s teacher/staff have a plan of who is the “go to” person for help, especially if regular staff is absent.
  • Tip 4: Create a note card size info card about your child for transportation. I always introduce myself and hand the driver or bus aide the information. I have always received positive feedback for doing this.
  • Tip 5: Most importantly ask for communication from the teacher. It will be incredibly helpful for you and your child.

Most importantly, breathe in, breathe out, your child will surprise you!!

Author: Tanya

With a background in education, Tanya is devoted to guiding young families along the path of parenting children with autism. Her inspiration is her son.

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