Going back to school with a child on the spectrum

Summer break is filled with fun, family trips and changes in routine. Returning to school in the fall can be challenging for both children and parents, but this can be extra challenging for children on the autism spectrum. Consider these tips when transitioning from summer vacation to back to school

Develop a routine.

Children on the spectrum can be faced with challenges when having a drastic change in routine. It’s a great idea to visualize expectations for your child to prepare for what their routine will look like during their school day. This can be done by showing images or drawing pictures of things such as:

· Getting on the school bus

· Sitting at your desk

· Eating lunch in the cafeteria

· Being picked up by a parent/guardian in the carpool line.

Communicate needs with your child’s teacher.

It’s important that all parties are aware of challenges your child on the spectrum may face during the school days. Communicating your needs to your child’s teacher will help them better understand your child’s behavior and allow the teacher to compromise when needed. Most teachers will accommodate and provide sensory friendly spaces in the classroom for children to regroup when feeling overwhelmed or overstimulated.

Encourage your child to also communicate needs with teachers and peers.

Encouraging your child to communicate needs helps them establish a safe space to make them feel seen and heard. This can be done by practicing at home to better prepare for the upcoming school year. For example, using images of a happy face, sad face, angry face, etc. to tell you what they’re feeling is a great way to help your child on the spectrum to communicate what they’re trying to express.

Look after yourself.

As parents or guardians, it is crucial to also look out for your well-being. Caring for a child on the spectrum can be physically and emotionally demanding. Parents need chances to regroup and recharge in order to better care for their child on the spectrum.

About Milestones Behavioral Services

Milestones Behavioral Services specializes in teaching children who may be behind in their language, behavior or social skills. Milestones use the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) to make learning fun while helping students reach new heights. Their instructors are highly trained to work with children who display a variety of developmental needs.

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