Written by Dr. Carosso
Sorry to mention it, but…
Don’t hate the messenger but, yes, it’s about that time to start thinking about ‘back to school’. I shudder even writing those words given the implication of summer coming to an end.
Summer vs School Routine
Need I mention the difference between summer and school-year routines? If you start about 3-weeks out, it’s much easier to ship your child into shape. Otherwise, it’s a culture-shock for your child, and not too pleasant for you either.
What to do:
- Begin slowly adjusting routines for earlier bedtime.
- Incorporate lengthier study and quiet-reading sessions throughout the day and week. This could include anything even remotely academic.
- Visit the school playground more frequently.
- Arrange play-dates with school friends/acquaintances not seen for most of the summer, especially those kids who will be in your child’s class or grade.
- If you can arrange a visit to the classroom, and meet the teacher, so much the better.
- It can be helpful to color-code school supplies (notebooks, file-folders…). Integrate material-color with picture schedule.
- Purchase school clothes early, wash them a few times, cut-off tags, and make sure your child is comfortable with them well in advance.
- Pick-out a “cool” outfit for the first day (first impressions are important).
- Use picture schedules and social stories to prepare for the first day.
- Prepare school for emergency contacts and dietary issues.
- Prepare the teacher, aide, Guidance Counselor, ‘specials’ teachers, cafeteria workers, and anybody else who will listen for what to expect, and how to effectively intervene.
- Don’t forget to say a prayer with your kids before they venture off to school; they find that comforting and reassuring.
- Autism-Speaks also has some nice back-to-school bulletins (I especially like the ‘about me’ activity):
For all kids
Keep these tips in mind, and they’ll work well for both your typical and special-needs children.
If you have any other tips, please comment; it’ll be appreciated. God bless and enjoy the rest of the summer!