The return to school after winter break can be a challenging time for many children, and for those with autism, the transition can feel like going back to school for the first time.
However, a little preparation can go a long way in making this journey easier for autistic kids. Transition strategies not only help children mentally prepare for the change but also facilitate their adjustment to the school environment. Here are some useful tips to support your autistic child during this back-to-school transition:
Create a Daily Schedule to Prepare Your Child for Back to School Routines
Establishing a visual daily schedule can provide structure predictability that goes a long way in helping an autistic child at school. Include morning routines, school hours, and after-school activities. This visual guide helps your child understand and anticipate the upcoming events, making the transition smoother.
If Possible, Volunteer the First Week That School is Back in Session
Volunteering at your child’s school during the first week back can offer them a sense of familiarity and reassurance. Being in a familiar environment with a trusted adult can ease anxiety and help them adjust to the school routine.
Start Talking About School a Few Days Before Going Back
Initiate conversations about returning to school a few days before the break ends. Discuss the positive aspects of school, like seeing friends, engaging in favorite activities, and learning new things.
Create a Countdown Calendar So Your Child Can Mentally Prepare for the Transition
A countdown calendar serves as a visual tool to help your child understand the passage of time leading up to the return to school. It can be as simple as marking off days on a calendar or creating a visual chart with images or symbols representing each day. This gives your child a tangible way to anticipate and mentally prepare for the transition.
As advocates for the well-being of children with autism, we recognize the importance of effective transition strategies. Our team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) is dedicated to providing support not only within our ABA clinic but also by empowering parents through ABA parent training.
At Step Forward ABA we understand that a successful transition back to school autism involves collaboration between home and school environments, and our goal is to equip parents with the knowledge and tools they need to navigate these transitions with confidence. Contact us today to learn more about back to school autism transition strategies and how ABA parent training and therapy interventions are effective in helping an autistic child at school.