As the new school year approaches, I am reminded of a saying my mother used to say; “You ain’t got to leave, but you ain’t staying here.” Now, I know some parents are relieved their little ankle biters will have some meaningful daily activity, but for some parents, there is an uneasiness which festers.
For some parents, especially those who have children with special needs, this can be a very anxiety- filled time. Wondering if the school will meet all of their child’s needs.Will their child be safe? How will their child learn? How will these learning objectives be measured? These are all very good questions.
Children who have special needs often have a difficulty adjusting to the new change, especially children with autism and anxiety challenges. Changes in routine can lead to maladaptive behaviors such as non- compliance, and tantrums. I have some tips which may make going back to school easy as
- Attend an Open House When the school has scheduled a open house, go to it and take the prospective student too. This helps parents meet the teacher(s) who will be teaching their children. He/ She can see where their classroom will be located and get acclimated to the environment.
- Create a Social Story. Social Stories are a good visual and written description of the events that will happen. This will help him / her know what t will happen the day before and for the rest of the week depending on the child’s need. This is also helpful to include a schedule. Be consistent with this.
- Communication. I cannot stress this enough. Communicate, Communicate COMMUNICATE. It makes a world of difference. Teachers and parents play an intricate role in the child’s life. Deciding how the two parties will communicate is also a huge part. Whether this will be communication will via E-mail / telephone .It also needs to be decided if this will be on a daily or weekly basis. Or whether they communicate via the child(ren) academic planner where both parties need to initial it each day. Whatever system will be used needs to be consistent.
Here is to a productive academic year.