Back to School Tips for Children with Autism
Yes, it is already that time of year again; back to school! It sneaks up every year but this year, with a little advanced planning you and your child can be ready for a smooth transition from summer schedules to school-time schedules. Every child must learn to adapt to the new school year but as you are well aware special needs children can be particularly sensitive to such a drastic change in routine.
Back to School Tip #1: Social Stories
Talk to your child before the new year starts and let them know what to expect. It is such a big job to get everything in order for the coming school year, a busy parent may overlook the important task of including the child in the preparations. It is a good idea to have a conversation first and then start in on the next steps of actually visiting the school and creating a Social Story. Social Stories are used for children on the Autism scale to smooth over rough transitions or to break down difficult tasks into manageable steps. But anyone can take advantage of this concept.
You can start by taking snapshots of anything that will help your child know what to expect and then start constructing a booklet. It’s best to include the child in making the booklet and turn it into a fun project. Once the booklet is done, you can go over it many times in a familiar and relaxed setting so the child will become more comfortable about what will happen. Be sure to include every aspect of the school day from the new morning routine at home, to the ride to and from school and everything in between.
Back to School Tip #2: Supplies Including Youth Diapers
As the new school year approaches waiting until the last moment to organize can cause a lot of stress and as we know the kids will pick up on any stress around them. Feeling like you are prepared can really help ease emotions. Make sure to shop ahead of time for school clothes, school supplies, and if needed, youth incontinence supplies such as diapers and wipes.
Also, schedule an appointment to meet with teachers to start a good relationship early in the year. You can prepare a one-page sheet for the teacher and other school staff that addresses special concerns or needs your child may have.
Just like with any transition, being prepared and knowing what to expect can make life easier. And It’s not just the children who will benefit from extra planning. Parents and teachers will be less stressed and better able to give the child proper attention when they have the details worked out ahead of time.