Going back to school for children with autism doesn’t have to be a challenge.
By Mike Camunas, Engage Behavioral Health Marketing Manager
Every year at this time, like an annual rite of passage, it’s the first day of the new school year! Kids — donning new back packs and lunch boxes and fresh school clothes — pose for the parents’ “First Day” photos and head off to meet possibly new friends and a new teacher(s).
Of course, this could be tough for any student, but it can be especially challenging for children and preteens with autism or who might be on the autism spectrum. However, with the right preparation and support, a child with autism can easily succeed and thrive in a school environment.
And at Engage Behavioral Health, we believe in the power of an individualized approach to applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. Each individual deserves an ABA therapy program tailored to his or her needs. We can assist you and your family by tailoring a behavioral therapy program specifically designed for your child’s special needs and even help growth within each individual’s settings, from home, to community and, of course, in school.
If you’re interested in Engage Behavioral Health’s ABA therapy services, schedule an appointment at one of our locations in the Tampa Bay area or Tallahassee, or one of our in-home service areas today by calling our Client Care Team at (877) 350-5005 or by using the form on our web site.
For now, here are a few tips to prepare a child with autism for the new school year.
Plan a School Visit
A month or a few weeks before the school year starts, take some time to plan out a school visit that way the child can familiarize him or herself with the surroundings and environment. The best part of doing it right before school starts is that many teachers will be there preparing their classrooms allowing the child to possibly meet their new instructor. Take photos of the school and classroom that way the child can look back later and stay familiar with all of it.
Do a Dress Rehearsal
The old saying is “practice makes perfect” and that applies to a child with autism, as well. And this practice, such as going through a new routine — from waking up early, to getting dressed and ready to go to school, the trip to school, walking to the classroom and even coming home — could prove beneficial for the child to navigate through a new environment.
Of course, some children with autism may prefer having a visual or written schedule as their routine. Many of those on the autism spectrum don’t do well having a schedule that has flexibility or changes. So getting down a routine well in advance before it actually begins could do wonders for the child’s transition into going back to school.
Find A Safe Place
And as much as parents can prep for their child with autism, there’s just no way to predict every situation or when the the child might feel overwhelmed or scared or uncomfortable. Get with his or her teacher prior to set up a designated area that allows them a few minutes of alone time to find composure and courage again.
Most likely the child will be able to regain control, but it is school after all. There are a lot of stress factors, from workload, to other students, to sights and sounds. A five-minute break could go a long way for any student, but especially one on the spectrum.
Follow Engage Behavioral Health on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Tags: autism, back to school, children, tips
Start your post here...