Back to School
School is soon to start and now is a great time to start making preparations. Families are out shopping for the many supplies and clothes needed for the coming school year. Children will be thinking about all the changes and activities to come.
There are three areas that will be helpful to address and prepare for so that you and your child will have a smoother transition in to the new school year.
- Clothing - Remove tags ahead of time. Allow children to wear clothing ahead of time to assist with sensory needs. Prepare a child to wear shoes and socks by doing it for short periods of time daily.
- Color coded materials – Help your child organize with color coding by subject for older students or by day with younger students.
- Written or Picture Labels for support – provide you child with extra visual supports to assist with understanding and having the correct materials when needed. Place pictures of the teacher on inside of note book along with the written name of subject on the notebook.
- Fidget or comfort item if allowed – Locate a small comforting item to carry in a pocket if this helps with calming. Make staff and child aware of it’s use and check to see if permission is needed to have it.
Night time and morning – Start putting bed time and morning routines in to place early. It takes time to adjust and starting the first of August with routines back in place will make starting school much simpler.
Social Stories of morning routine – Visually seeing and reading daily about the morning routine will help the mornings run smoother. Then practice morning routines – Prime children for upcoming changes in routines
Count down to school calendar – Start crossing off the days till school starts on a calendar for a visual understanding.
Share positive talk about school - Place school in a positive light. Talk about what they will learn, who their teachers will be, and making friends.
Meet Teachers, Bus Drivers & Staff – Make an appointment to meet staff ahead of time. Going with a parent in a positive approach will lessen fears for the child. If appointments are made more staff is usually available to spend time with you. Take your camera to take pictures of places and people.
Visit Playground – Make sure your visit includes the playground to explore with out everyone there. A child is more likely to locate a comfortable area when there are not large numbers of children. Make sure and ask for rules ahead of time to review and talk about.
Get acquainted book or video –If your child has a simple picture book or card about things they like it will help them have things to talk about with others and build friendships. The pictures of what your child likes or knows will assist them with starting a conversation or for others to ask about. Some families starting new schools put together a simple video to share with classmates to help them understand.
Calendar of a day at school or social story – Having a visual calendar of the day or a social story about what is going to take place in a classroom is helpful for a child to understand what is coming up. It relieves fears and helps them understand their day. Requesting this of the teacher will help with a smooth transition for everyone.
Share information- It is always important to share new skills and concerns with current staff and teachers. Help your child express what calming techniques are helpful as well as triggers that might be upsetting. The more people who understand and work with an understanding of your child the better quality of life your child will experience.