The new school year is just around the corner, and with the new school year comes changes for both children and parents. These changes can include new routines, new teachers, new classmates, and possibly a new school. Children with autism thrive on routine, so these changes may be more difficult for them. Below are some strategies to make this adjustment to the new school year go smoothly.
Strategies to Help Your Child with Autism Adjust to the New School Year:
- Begin the new routine a few weeks or even a month early – This will allow your child to adjust to the new bedtime and wake-up routine before the school year begins. Also include any dressing and eating routines that normally occur during the school year.
- Create a visual schedule for your child to follow – This can help with daily routines such as dressing, eating, and bedtime routines.
- If your child is going to a new school take a tour of the school and visit all the areas your child will go (classroom, lunch room, gym, bathroom, etc.).
- Meet the teacher and classroom staff – This will allow your child to get acquainted with all of the people he will be working with during the school year. It also allow the staff to become familiar with the child and for you to ask any questions you may have about the upcoming school year.
- Share important information with the teacher – Provide notes for the teacher which include any triggers that cause behaviors to occur, along with successful strategies on how to handle these behaviors. Also give a list of items/activities that can be used as reinforcers.
- Keep open lines of communication between you and the teacher – Let your child’s teacher know from the beginning that you would like to have open communication and that you want to be informed of both issues/concerns as well as successes.
- Allow for an adjustment period – Everyone takes time to adjust to new things. Allow time for both you and your child to adjust to the new school year, and remember to be patient with your child during his adjustment.
NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!