August means many things…the end of summer, the start of football and other fall sports, and gearing up for the back to school transition. If you are the parent of a child with Autism or other isms, it can be an extra busy time. Challenges may include getting your child prepared and adjusted to a new routine, a new schedule and new faces.
Here are three tips to support the transition from summer to a new school year for children with isms to enure both the parent and the child have the best school year possible.
1. Meet Your Child’s Teacher Before School Starts
If you have a child with isms, starting a new school year with a new teacher can be a little confusing for your child. Aside from having a new teacher, each school year usually means a new classroom and new everything.
To help prepare your child for the back to school transition and to help prepare yourself, meet your child’s teacher before school starts. Consider bringing your child with you so they can meet the teacher as well. Meeting the teacher before school begins provides a less stressful environment to allow everyone to get to know one another before the year begins.
Learn more in Help a Teacher to Understand Your Child by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M, ACAC
2. Get a Planner/Organizer for Your Child
When I was in school, I loved having a planner. Being on the autism spectrum, I crave structure and a detailed schedule. The planner allowed me to not only write down my daily schedule, but it also helped me to keep track of all of my assignments in a structured and detailed way as the day went on.
Each day, I would fill my planner with assignment listings and various tasks I needed to remember during the school day. When I got home from school, I could open up my backpack, look in my planner and see all of my homework assignments written down in one convenient place. Getting a planner/organizer for your child is a great way to keep them organized and organization equals a smoother back to school transition.
Check out 6 Tips to Make Back to School More Organized by Marcella Moran, MA, LMHC
3. Develop a Morning Routine for the Back to School Transition
Although school mornings can be stressful for most kids, for children on the autism spectrum, the chaos that mornings bring can be very overwhelming. As a child, I remember having the occasional melt-down during school mornings. It was very stressful trying to locate a homework assignment or being able to get ready on time to catch the school bus.
To avoid having major chaos in the mornings before school, set up a detailed morning routine for your child. To be productive in preparing for the day ahead, that might mean putting a visual schedule up on the wall or a task list of what your child needs to do to get ready, This will provide a child much needed structure and detail to help start the day. When your child gets to school, the structure and detail that they experience in the morning prep will help them be in a calmer place and ready to learn.
Consider adding a Morning Yoga Routine: Destress for Success this School Year by Mira Binzen
There are many things you can do as a parent to help make sure that your child with isms is well prepared for the upcoming school year. These three tips should be a great start!
For more back to school prep ideas, be sure to visit Special-Ism’s New School Year Solution Center.
Explore Back to School Tips for Parents and Teachers
Determine Strategies to Ease Your Child into a New School Year