3 Ways to Make Going Back to School Easier
Therapies and Resources for Children with Autism & Families
Children, parents, and teachers alike across Greater Cleveland and Akron are probably experiencing some “back to school blues” as the more carefree summer season with its relaxed schedules will soon be replaced with early alarms and structured routines. But, for your child with special needs, going back to school can be an extremely stressful and anxious experience. You likely have stuck to a routine throughout summer break to help your child maintain some of the structure of a normal school day, but now that routine will once again change. How can you help your child ease into his or her new school schedule?
- Arrange an early visit to the school. Many school administrators will allow you to bring your child into the school early to familiarize him or her with the school environment. Sometimes it may be possible to also visit your child’s classroom and teacher. Or, if you prefer, make a visit to the school alone and snap some photos (with permission, of course) that you can use to create a photo book for your child. Talk with your child every day as you flip through the photo book.
- Use social stories. If possible, speak to your child’s teacher and school staff to get some details about what will happen on the first day or in the first week at the school. Then, you can use this information to talk to your child about what to expect and explain different activities or events that might occur. For example, there may be a welcome back assembly with all students at the school, or perhaps your child’s teacher has a special art project or activity planned for the class.
- Give your child some choice in new school supplies and clothes. Back to school should be a fun and exciting time of year for children. Involve your child in school supply shopping, allowing him or her to have a role in selecting the supplies he or she will use in the classroom or the clothing he or she will wear on the first day back. This can help to build confidence in your child.
If you need additional guidance or suggestions to help your child prepare for going back to school, do not hesitate to contact the team at Peak Potential Therapy. We work closely with children with autism and special needs and their families across Cleveland and Akron and look forward to speaking with you.