When school starts, it can take kids on the spectrum a few weeks to adjust to a new schedule. Here are some strategies you can start putting in place now to make the start of school easier for the whole family.
Your child will need to adapt to a lot of changes with the beginning of a new school year, by starting the process ahead of time he or she can get off to a more successful start!
1. Schedules: Going to bed later and waking up later can be perks of Summertime for kids & adults alike, but now is the time to start moving the schedule closer to what will be expected during the school year. Start pushing bedtime a little earlier and get them up and having breakfast as close as possible to the time they will need to for school. A visual routine for the morning can be helpful for all kids whatever their skill levels and can really increase independence in the morning. Put the schedule in place now so it can be practiced before you are trying to get your kid out the door to catch that bus!
Here is a link to a website that has some good, basic visual schedules:
2. Screen Time: For many kids, the start of school can bring earlier bedtimes and homework, which can lead to battles over turning off the screens. Try to start putting a few more limits on screen-time now before the start of school adds more stress to the situation. Using a timer consistently can be helpful for many families as well as putting clear boundaries on when and where a device can be used. For instance, letting the Ipad be used only in the car or having the t.v. on for specific shows only.
3. Get Familiar: Whether your child is going to be in the same classroom or at a completely new school, it can be very helpful to familiarize him or her with the school as much as possible. Get some pictures of the school or go over and play in the playground. If you know any kids from his or her class, have them meet you there for a playdate. If you know who the teacher is, try emailing them for a picture so you can show your child who his teacher will be.
With some preparation, you can help your child adapt to the start of school and decrease the stress levels for everyone in the family.
Please contact A Child's Potential, Inc. using our contact page if you have any specific questions about this topic.