After two months of summer break, it is a good idea to start preparing your autistic child for school. We all know that autistic children need structure, routine and predictability and as such, it is important that the transition between summer and school be as smooth as possible.
While the first few weeks of school may be difficult, keep in mind that it does not always need to be. All you need is to prepare your child for the transition between summer and school. Doing this will not only allow him to anticipate the changes but it will also minimize his fears.
If this is his first time to go to school, it is a good idea to bring your child to his new school and have him take a tour of the place. Schedule the trip on a day when the school is not busy. Avoid registration dates and other events such as Parent’s Orientation. It is best that he gets to know the school without the added stress of dealing with other people.
If possible, it is also a good idea to schedule a meeting with his teacher. This way, your child can get to know his teacher before the first day of school. It is a good time for them to get familiar with each other as his teacher can give him her undivided attention. Being familiar with his teacher will be best for your child as he will have one less thing to worry about during the first day of school.
If he is not going to a new school, one way to prepare him is by showing him some pictures of his school. Let him know that it is time to go back to his school. Talk about his positive experiences in school as well as his favorite activities so he will be reminded of the good times that he has spent in school and will look forward to going back. In his calendar schedule, clearly mark the date when he is scheduled to go back to school.
If his bedtime schedule changed during the summer, it is a good idea to start preparing him for the bedtime schedule that he needs to follow during the school year. Do not make any drastic changes. Slowly adjusting his bed time will work better than forcing him to suddenly sleep an hour earlier.