School is Back in Session!

It's difficult transitioning from a relaxing summer, back to the demanding schedules of a new school year. It can be especially difficult when your child has special needs or anxiety about new expectations and schedules. Here are a few tips to make that transition better for you and your child...

Top 8 Back to School Tips:

1.   Consistency in schedule is important.
Establish regular meal times, sleeping times, homework times, play times, school departure times - you name it! A familiar schedule can be something your child can take comfort in during times of stress.

2.   Display your daily schedule with fun graphics. 
Create a calendar with your child using various colors, drawings, and photographs for each activity. Have a conversation and create social stories about each activity to increase enthusiasm.

3.   Color code textbooks and notebooks by subject.
Doing this allows your child to organize their materials and create a mental schedule based on those colors.

4.   Read fun books about going back to school.
Reintroduce them to the school environment using positive examples. This will increase their excitement for the new year.
5.   Have activities ready for your child when driving to school.
Reduce anxiety by engaging your child with fun activities and games to play on the ride to school. Traffic will also be a lot more bearable!
6. Speak with your child about their anxieties.
Listen and understand what they have to say. Share your own school experiences and fears, and explain how you tackled them. Reinforce positivity in your experiences and show your support!
7. Create a weekly afterschool activity that your child will look forward to.
All work and no play - not fun! Make sure to have fun-only activites planned 1-2 times a week.
8. Help your child build friendships!
Children become less anxious about school when they have friends to spend time with. So let your child bring a cool toy to show-and-tell that will attract classmates, and join them in extracurricular activities. To faciliate conversation between your child and a potential friend, point out similar interests between them.

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