How to Transition Your Special Need’s Child for the New School Year

parent teacher conferenceAs summer comes to a close, the transition back to school can be difficult for just about any child. After three months of fun with no real demands, children now have to attend to teachers for six hours and following a structured routine. Children with special needs and neurodevelopmental concerns are even more likely to face difficulty here, but there are numerous strategies parents and teachers can implement to ensure the transition goes smoothly as possible.

Preparing Your Child For The New School Year

Prior to school starting, it is important to sit down with your children and explain the changes that they will be experiencing soon. Prepare your child for the school year. Explain to him or her what the school routine will look like. Give your child a schedule of what the day will entail.

Getting Your Child Acquainted With The School And New Teacher

Next, bring your child to school to meet his or her new teacher, who should be able to give further preparation and reassurance for the coming year. If your child will be attending a new school, it is recommended that he or she take a tour beforehand in order to get acclimated to the layout and surroundings of the building.

Parents, I strongly advise you to meet with your child’s new teacher prior to the start of the school year. Be upfront – help the teacher to understand any concerns you have, including what has and has not worked in aiding your child at home and during the previous school year.

Teachers should keep an open mind. All too many times I hear about teachers having a preconceived idea about a child due either to a diagnosis or concerns that were brought up by a previous instructor. It is important to understand that a diagnosis is only worth so much – we do not know child’s strengths and weaknesses, what interventions the child has had, or what progress has been demonstrated. Also, it is important to understand that a child’s performance last year might not reflect his or her potential for the coming year. The child might have received interventions over the summer or simply may have matured during that time.

Let’s make the new school year start off successfully. Parents, constantly inform your children about the coming school demands. Your children should go in prior to the start of school to meet the teacher, walk around the building, and get comfortable so that it is not a big shock when the year actually starts. Parents and teachers should get together and meet to discuss the child and what has and hasn’t worked. Teachers, keep an open mind and go into this year without preconceived notions about a student, regardless of what you may have heard.

Feel free to share your helpful strategies by leaving a comment below!