Well, it’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end and the new school year will be here before you know it! Here are some tips to help you and your child get adjusted to the new school year.
- Talk About It. If your child has difficulty transitioning, try making the expectations and routines familiar prior to the first day of school. Read books about school and relate the story back to your child, practice walking to the bus stop, and go play on the school playground. You can even see if your school will let your child practice walking the halls and locate the classroom and other rooms (media center, cafeteria, gymnasium) prior to the first day.
- Prepare for It. If your child has an IEP in place, get in touch with the special education team and ensure everything is ready to go once school starts. Keep in mind back-to-school is busy for teachers, too, and it may take a few weeks for the services to resume. If your child has received services outside of school over the summer, ask the treating clinician to provide you with an updated report including any testing that went on over the summer months, current goals/progress, and diagnoses. Give this current report to your student’s special education team.
- Share It. While we are talking about sharing information, make sure you fill out any release forms from the school and other facilities where your child receives treatment. These release of confidentiality forms allow teachers/therapists working with your child to collaborate on goals, share information, and ensure everyone is on the same page throughout the year.
- Talk to Teachers and Caregivers. Voice any concerns you have with your child’s teacher. If your child is not a social butterfly and you fear forming new friendships may be challenging, then express this to the teacher. She may be able to strategically seat your son/daughter sit next to a very social student or pair them up during small group work which can help bring out these skills.
- Capture It. A fun and different activity, mainly for you, is to keep track of your child and see how they grow and change during this school year, from the beginning to the end. Take a picture in the same place on the first and last days of school, write out their likes and dislikes or any special interests they may have, even include a writing sample from the first day and compare it to the last!
The start of a new school year is always an exciting time filled with new classrooms, new teachers, and new friends. I hope your child has a wonderful and exciting 2013 school year, and that you find these tips helpful for you and your child.
Do you have a special tip that has worked well for you and your child?
–Sara Lipson, M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech-Language Pathologist, Center for Children’s Rehabilitation at Beaumont