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  • Writer's pictureAtlantic Autism Services, Inc

Helpful Tips for Heading Back to School

I can't believe it's that time of year again, can you?! In a few short weeks, kids across the country will be headed back to school. After being off for so many weeks, this can be a scary transition for your child. Here are some helpful tricks to get your child back to school ready!

  1. Talk to your child: Make sure you and your child have conversations about school before their first day. Let them know when their first day of school is and what to expect. You may want to cross off days on a calendar or have a countdown as a visual to better prepare your child.

2. Wearing a Mask: Prepare your child for the possibility of wearing a mask when indoors at school and continuing to maintain social distancing due to COVID-19. Practice wearing a mask with your child before the start of the school year to get them used to wearing it.

3. Create a social story: Social stories are individualized stories that use words or visuals to help your child anticipate a situation before they encounter it. Social stories can be extremely helpful for your child. Create a social story about going back to school. Tell them it's okay to feel anxious, sad, happy, or excited. All of these different emotions they may be experiencing about going back to school are perfectly normal. Talk to them about how they are feeling and what they can do to help manage these feelings.

4. Create a routine: Starting a morning routine before their school day can be very beneficial for your child. Start by waking them up early a few days/weeks leading up to school. Practice the routine they will have on school mornings before their first day back to help ease their transition.

5. Visit with your child's teacher: If possible, have your child meet their new teacher at back to school night. Ask if you can take a picture of him/her and their classroom. You can add these picture to your child’s social story.

6. School Bus: If your child will be riding a bus to school, take a picture of a school bus and create a social story about riding the bus. Go over certain rules that your child will be expected to follow when riding the bus, such as sitting in their seat and not standing until the bus comes to a complete stop.

7. Be prepared: Once you receive your child's school supply list, have them pick out their supplies such as their backpack, lunchbox and folders! This can make your little one excited to be headed back to school!

8. Relax: The most important reminder of all! Kids can pick up on their parents' feelings. Try to stay as calm as possible. This will help keep your child calm as well! Enjoy these last few weeks of summer by spending some quality time together.

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