It’s been a good summer. You’ve had some fun. Everyone is (hopefully) feeling pretty relaxed. But, now, it’s time to get ready to return to school. For you, the parent, you are probably looking forward to a little more time to get stuff done without having to manage child care duties. However, for your exceptional child, back to school means a change in routine and can be a potentially stressful transition. Bearing this in mind, here are some things you can do to help make things a little easier.
1. Gradually adjust bedtime.
For many families, summer break is a time of decreased or changed structure. For many of my clients, bed times get a little more lax and are often pushed back. Try to start nudging that bedtime up a few minutes a night before the school starts. Shoot for having your child going to bed and getting up for at least a few days (if not a week) before the first day of school. This will make the transition a little more gradual and help your child to start the first day of school more rested and ready to go. Starting school is enough of a change without being sleep disrupted on top of everything.
2. Be positive
Your child may be experiencing some anxiety as they think about starting up school. This may be heightened if they are making a big jump (say from grade school to middle school or from middle school to high school). Encourage your kid to talk about and process these feelings, but focus on the positives. Focus on your child’s strengths and how they are ready to do well. Remind them of good things to look forward to with the start of a new school year.
3. Reach out to the teachers
Consider reaching out to the teachers before or at the start of the school year. Send a brief email introducing yourself and your child. Let the teachers know your child’s likes and strengths. Don’t count on an IEP or 504 plan to give them the important information they need to work with your child. Most importantly, stay positive and present yourself as a resource to help them and support them in working with your child. Make a positive connection and this will aid collaboration as the school year unfolds.
I hope these simple tips help you out. Please feel free to share your helpful back to school tips in the comments section below. Also, please share this article with any friends you think might find it helpful. If you would like to schedule a consultation you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 484-693-0582.