7 Back-To-School Tips For Kids With Special Needs

Back to school is always a hectic time of year (understatement alert). But when you have a kid with special needs it can be even more of a challenge, especially if you have a child who doesn’t like changes in routine. I’ve found that getting Max a new backpack or some other new school item early in August helps; it gets him psyched, and it comforts him to know he’s prepared. I asked Facebook parents of kids with special needs what makes the return to school go more smoothly for their kids and them. Their strategies:

Get back into a routine. ”I start the routine two weeks prior, bedtime and morning wake-up. I let him pick out his new lunch box and pack up his school supplies and pick his first day of school outfit. I drive him to school to re-introduce it for familiarity.”—Amy S.

• Keep it visual. ”We do a monthly schedule color-coordinated for each of the four kids, and now a color for the dog! Kids and I like to see what’s ahead and what we get to look forward to.”—Nancy B.

Two words: “Online shopping!”—Maria K.

Build excitement. “A giant wall calendar shouts the term ‘starting day’ and conversation touches on the new teachers and responsibilities.”—Dave W.

Get some teacher scoop. “It helps to have a hint of what the coming year will bring. Some inkling of who this teacher is, into whose hands I’m about to place my child’s well-being and education…. I’m in a state of horror as I know none of that yet!”—Barbara H.

Practice homework to build confidence. “We do some ‘school’ work from workbooks every day to reinforce what he already knows!”—Amy S.

• Know that it will get better. ”My son actually does a lot better during the school year. He gets bored at home, and begins cycling through his preferred activities at a much faster rate. But adjusting to change is never easy for him. I expect to see increased frustration and aggression during the first few weeks of school. Knowing that situation will improve as he becomes more comfortable in school makes it easier to deal with a change in behavior.”–Regan B.

From my other blog:

On letting your child with special needs do things for himself 

My kid with special needs understands you so don’t ask me, ask him

That sad you feel when you think about your pregnancy

Preparing for the First Day of School
Preparing for the First Day of School
Preparing for the First Day of School

Image of child getting on school bus via Shutterstock

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