Autism Spectrum Therapies Shares Their Back to School Transition Strategies for Children with Autism

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The experts at AST provide useful tips for parents to help them turn back to school anxieties into positive opportunities for building crucial social, language and academic skills.

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AST CEO and Co-Founder, Ronit Molko

In general it is a good idea to reduce the number of surprises your child may encounter on their first day back in the classroom. Try and set routines in the lead up to that first day that prepare them for this exciting transition.

Getting ready for the new school year can be a hectic and exciting time. However, for children with autism all this change can be a sensory overload and the transition from the carefree days of summer back in to the school year can be overwhelming. There are many new obstacles to contend with, a new teacher, a new class, new classmates and maybe even a new school to navigate. The daily routine that was established to accommodate the summer months is now changing and can evoke feelings of anxiety and illicit less than desirable behaviors. Autism Spectrum Therapies shares their suggestions for parents to help them ease back to school anxieties and turn them into positive opportunities for building crucial social, language and academic skills.

Scope out the school and classroom in advance
If your child is going into a new classroom, visit it at least once before the first day of school. If transition has been a struggle in the past consider taking as much time as your child needs to explore the classroom. Make it as much fun as possible, playing in each of the new areas.

Check out seat assignments
For older children, ask the teacher if a seat assignment has been made. Do some enjoyable activities in that seat. If familiar classmates will be in the room, show where they will be sitting, too.

Rehearse new activities
Find out from the teacher what new activities are planned. Then, prepare your child by performing, practicing, and talking about them. This rehearsal will reduce anxiety when the new activities come up in the first week of school.

Anticipate sensory overload
The noise and chaos of a typical classroom can sometimes be a bit much to handle. Establish a plan for what to do in this situation – perhaps there is a quiet room where your child can “take a break” for a short time.

Volunteer in the classroom
Most teachers welcome assistance from parents. Your presence may be a source of comfort to your child during those challenging first weeks.

Autism Spectrum Therapies CEO & Co-founder Ronit Molko also gave this advice for managing the transition into the school year “In general it is a good idea to reduce the number of surprises your child may encounter on their first day back in the classroom. Try and set routines in the lead up to that first day that prepare them for this exciting transition.”

About Autism Spectrum Therapies
Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST) is committed to a world where people with developmental challenges, and the people who love them, dream and achieve their true potential.
Rooted in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the strongest and broadest evidence-based approach, AST offers the most clinically appropriate and effective services within a family-friendly environment to infants, children and adults. Working in family’s homes, communities, and schools, AST addresses all developmental needs, including language development, social skills, and building independence across the lifespan.
Employing the finest clinicians including an unmatched number of Ph.D.’s (10 and growing) and over 60 Board Certified Behavior Analysts, Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists on staff, AST continues to grow nationally in applied clinical and research communities. Explore our website http://www.autismtherapies.com and discover how Autism Spectrum Therapies is helping individuals with autism achieve their full potential.

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Tyler McConvill
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