As a parent of children with autism and other disabilities I always begin to worry about now. Everything goes through your mind. Who is the teacher? Where is the classroom? What time will lunch be?
Your child is getting ready to enter the unknown. Even if your child is going back to the same school as they attended the previous year, they probably have a new teacher and/or a new classroom. It is uncommon for things not to change at all. Even getting a new backpack is a change. With that in mind, I’ve put together a few tried and true tips for you to consider trying.
My top 4 tips to assist you and your child in preparation of going back to school:
- Talk with your child about going back to school. Have a calendar marked with BACK TO SCHOOL. Do a visual countdown- have your child mark off each day with a X as you get closer to the date to go back to school. This helps with anxiety.
- The required supply list. Take your child with you to buy school supplies. Make it fun to get the supplies. This is a great time for your child to pick out the backpack or lunchbox of their choice. This gives your child a little control over what they take to school.
- Will your child ride the school bus or will you drop your child off at school? Do a trial trip. If they ride the school bus walk to the area your child will get onto the bus in the morning. If you drop your child off at school drive to the drop off area and have your child get out of the car there. These test runs will show your child what to expect and lessen anxiety.
- Once you know what teacher and classroom your child will be in, call the school and request to bring your child in to walk the building to their classroom. ONLY go where your child needs to go. Do NOT go to visit past rooms or staff. This visit is about this school year so it is best to focus on that.
Lets face it, our children are not the only ones who have anxiety about a new school year. My point is that although these were developed for your children to have less anxiety they are also known to help parental anxiety as well.
Do you have any other tips for our readers? Please share them in the comments.