8 Helpful Tips on How to Transition Your Child Back to School

Summer has just begun and families everywhere are envisioning and planning exciting vacations featuring beaches, mountains or perhaps just days spent at a local park or swimming pool. As vital as summer vacations are in providing your child the opportunity to engage in new and exciting activities, they do come to an end rather quickly. Hence it’s important to prepare and plan for the school year that will start as soon as holidays are over.

For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), this change in routine can be particularly hard to accept. The transition to a new class and new teachers, peers, timetables, etc. may not be easy to deal with.

However, these fears can be managed by taking small, but important steps in familiarizing your child with his new situation, prior to the beginning of the school year.

In this blog post, we'll discuss various ways in which you can help your child prepare:

  • Research before you suggest: Gather information about your child’s next academic year. Get answers to various questions like - Does my child need extra support during classes? What changes does my child need to be aware of? Are the new staff members aware of my child’s challenges? Once you get a complete idea of how the new academic year will be structured, start educating your child.

  • Educate your child about the upcoming year: Firstly, congratulate your child on reaching a higher academic standard. Talk to them every day about changes to expect in the upcoming year and all the new and exciting things they will get to learn. Have them take part in various extracurricular activities like reading, writing, painting, etc.

  • Mark days on a calendar: Make sure your child is aware when school is going to start after their summer vacation. We suggest you make your child mark days on a calendar every day, so they’re aware when school is going to start. This eases the anxiety in children on the first day of school.

  • New routine for a new academic year: Create a new morning routine with your child, which can be followed even after school begins. Slowly start waking your child up earlier in the morning. Keep your child engaged with various activities throughout the day, but make sure you’re not straining them. This routine helps them stay energized all day long even after school starts

  • A trip to school: Plan a trip to visit your child’s school and click pictures of the new classroom, cafeteria, gym, etc. Review these images with your child every day during the summer. We suggest you create a social story book, which includes details of what your child needs to be aware of for the upcoming year.

  • Do not neglect sensory issues of your child: Some children on the spectrum are sensitive to loud noises and crowds. If your child has sensory processing disorder (SPD), make sure that she has her sensory friendly item with her from the first day of school. In addition to this, check if the school provides adaptive papers, pencil cushions, etc. along with other school supplies as your child might benefit from using.

  • Share the behavior plan that has worked for your child: If your child has a behavior plan that has been working for them, share it with their new teacher, so it can be implemented immediately at the start of the year.

  • Summer ends but responsibility continues: As the school year begins and progresses, ensure that you are on top of your child’s progress. Stay in contact with all of your child’s teachers and track how your child is progressing at school.

For more information regarding sensory therapy, cognitive skills, behavior therapy, developmental disorders, and early intervention, please contact Stepping Stones Center. We emphasize on acquiring new and appropriate behaviors, while also working on helping the child achieve developmentally age-appropriate milestones through evidence-based practices.

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