Now that everyone is back to school, it's time to share some back to school tips from the professionals! Ms. Ashley, Ms. Liz, and Ms. Laurel share some great general tips as well as specific problems you may run into this school year and how to solve them!
General Back to School Tips:
Create a routine and stick to it.
Allow your child to prepare and move and not be rushed in the mornings.
Start communication with teachers early so they understand your child's needs.
Use a timer to help your child plan/organize their time.
After school, allow your child to play and move at home before homework, dinner, etc.
Turn off screen time 1 hour before bed in order to promote healthy sleeping.
Q and A with Ms. Laurel:
Q: What can I do if my child is already having difficulties in school?
A: Great question! Most of our children struggle with 3 things: transitions, sitting still in class, and just being around the noise and sometimes chaos of a classroom. Here is my advice!
*Difficulty with Transitions? Ask your child's teacher for a daily schedule and provide your child with one that is easy to follow for their days at home. Use a first-then schedule: Ex: first circle time, then snack time OR first school, then we go to the park.
*Difficulty with Sitting Still in Class? Make sure your child has an opportunity to move before heading to school. Once at school, teach them to touch each finger to their thumb, do heel raises while sitting, practice breathing techniques, and press their hands into their thighs. Ask the teacher to allow your child to assist with carrying objects for heavy work movement activity. Dress your child in tight fitting clothing to increase body awareness and meet sensory seeking needs.
*Difficulty with a loud/chaotic classroom? Talk to the teacher about optimal seating choices for your child and, if appropriate, ask if your child can suck on hard candy or chew gum during more chaotic classroom times. Talk with your child about fire drills and cafeteria noises and play noises for them at home that could be upsetting to them at school. Headphones are another option that can be discussed with your child's teacher.
Ms. Ashley's and Ms. Liz's Parent Tips for a Great School Year:
Writing a social story about the new school schedule may help your child feel more comfortable.
2. Pull out your child's IEP and look over goals to make sure they are still appropriate for your child. If you feel changes should be made, contact your child's school to schedule an IEP review.
3. If your child has homework, work on it together. Spending time on your child's goals at home will only increase the progress of your child.
4. Most importantly, be a model for your child. If you are acting overwhelmed, anxious, or unhappy your child may mirror those behaviors. However, if your child sees you are calm, happy and excited about school, chances are your child will be too!
HAVE A GREAT SCHOOL YEAR, EVERYONE!
Ms. Ashley, Ms. Liz, and Ms. Laurel