Back to School Guide for Parents with Kids on the Spectrum

October 07, 2018

Back to School Guide for Parents with Kids on the Spectrum

  

Changes are a part of human life. Sometimes it may be a pleasant change or sometimes it may be a life-altering change, but one thing is for certain and that is, change, is an ever-constant factor in our lives. And this change can be an even bigger deal if you have a kid who is on the spectrum. 

One of the biggest changes any parent or child has to face is the process of getting ready for a whole new school year. But don’t worry, with these proactive tips mentioned below, let’s look at a way to make the transitions and changes from one grade to the next, from one school to another, easier for both you and your child.

Seek Support

There are many schools that offer classes for autism support. These classes are held to understand your kid’s learning characteristics to help them develop social skills, set goals, plan predictable routines, and communicate more meaningfully.

Remain Compassionate

When preparing in advance for changes for both your child and yourself, know that your child will likely have trouble adapting to changes in routine. Don’t become upset by that.  Even more important, take good care of yourself, be gentle with yourself like not beating yourself up when your best-laid plans go awry. They will change all too often, but that’s okay!

Change is difficult, but not impossible including the changes for your child with autism and gearing up for the changes that come with back to school planning.

Communicate and then communicate some more

Some kids on the spectrum are very texture sensitive.  This can create challenges where appropriate clothing is concerned.  For example, some kids love their fuzzy socks but this may be a problem when it concerns their school as it may not come under the school dress code. Thus it is always better to communicate with the school authorities and inform them about your child’s condition and how to deal with it and thus help establish a healthy communication channel for your child’s autism needs. 

Model the Change before the Change

Going through a new year of school, with a new classroom, new locker, etc.,  can cause a lot of anxiety for a kid who is on the spectrum, and can be your worst nightmare as a parent. But if you were to address these triggers instead of letting your child going with the flow, it may save you and your child a great deal of worry!

It is easier to handle change if you are prepared for it. For example, it would help you a lot if you were to create a storybook for your son or daughter with pictures of their new classroom, new teacher and friends who are in their new class from the previous year, as a tool to help them model the change before it occurs. 

A new school or a new grade may also mean changes in other routines, too.  Perhaps the bus used to arrive at 8 AM but it now it comes at 7:45 AM, or their lunch break is not at 1 PM anymore.  Gently reinforce these new routines, arranging the necessary steps and processes to help your child to adapt to it prior to the beginning of their new year.

Do let us know if you have any other tips which might help parents in this transition.

Also, visit www.differentnotless.us to check out various products which help children/adults on the spectrum 



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