Whether it is the first time your child attends a school environment or the first time your child attends a new school, the experience can be challenging for some families, especially families with a child diagnosed with Autism. However, with preparation, you may alleviate some of the stress by following these tips and suggestions.
Familiarize Your Child’s Surrounding
If possible, have your child visit the school before the first day. Have your child explore the classroom by having her sit on her desk, and walking around the classroom and other rooms. Have your child meet the teacher and any other staff that will be helping your child in school. Exposing your child to the school setting and staff may help with transitions and get them comfortable with their new surroundings.
Start adjusting the bedtime and morning routines for your child that will prepare them for school. We cannot expect the child to remember the sleep routine for school nights after a long summer break, nor can we expect all skills to be remembered when starting a new school. Start practicing the morning routines like getting up at a certain time, getting dressed, and eating breakfast before school starts.
Communicate with the Teacher
Talk with the teacher about any questions you may have. Questions like what the schedule will be, if they will accommodate your child asking to use the restroom, and if visual supports will be given may be important questions to ask. In addition to asking the teacher questions, inform the teacher about your child’s interests, strengths, and things that your child may need help with. Try to attend a parent-teacher meeting as soon as possible to discuss everything you would like to know and for the teacher to know.
Enroll in BCOTB Programs
Here at BCOTB, we offer the Toddler Achievement Program (TAP), School Readiness Program (SRP, and School Success Program that prepares children with vital skills to meet critical and developmental milestones, to prepare preschool children the skills needed in the preschool/kindergarten settings, and to prepare them with skills to participate in a mainstream classroom.